San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

8 Foreign Companies Opened Branches in 2004

EIGHT foreign businesses – fourfrom the service sector, two electronicsfirms and two medical firms – openedbranches in Costa Rica during 2004 andthe first months of 2005, the Costa RicaInvestment Promotion Agency announcedrecently.According to Edna Camacho, directorof the board, the companies’ investmentshere total $4.58 million and have generated145 jobs.The companies chose Costa Ricabecause of the country’s economic andpolitical stability, convenient geographicallocation and human resources, Camachosaid in a statement, adding that in the nextfour years, the service sector could generateas many as 6,000 new jobs.However, Costa Rica will have toimprove the availability of bilingualemployees and the quality of telecommunications,as well as approving theCentral American Free-Trade Agreementwith the United States (CAFTA), inorder to realize this potential, accordingto Camacho.

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