More Multinationals Expand Operations Here

May 20, 2005

PERU-BASED Ajegroup and U.S.-based Bridgestone Firestone and Coca-Cola are among the multinational firmsthat have announced plans to expand theirCosta Rican operations in recent weeks.Tire-producer Bridgestone Firestonede Costa Rica, S.A., has spent $40 millionin recent years to expand its plant in SanAntonio de Belén, northwest of San José.The company has announced an additional$15 million investment to buy equipmentthat will allow the plant to produce HighPerformance Tires.“We are growing in leaps and bounds,”General Manager Humberto Gómez said ina statement. “The expansion that is beingfinished allows us to go from 5,000 tires aday to 12,000. Our staff increased by 500positions during the last three years.”Ajegroup, which distributes productsincluding Big Cola, has increased productionat its plant in Tejar del Guarco,Cartago, east of San José.The company has plans to begin sellingthe soft drink in Nicaragua and Guatemala.This expansion will result in the creation of150 jobs in Nicaragua and 200 inGuatemala, according to a statement fromthe company.Coca-Cola has an $8 million dollarproject in the works to increase productionvolume at its Costa Rican plant by 130%,the daily La República reported. The plantproduces 70 beverage concentrates andexports them to countries in CentralAmerica, South American and theCaribbean.In April, multinationals Procter &Gamble, Kimberly Clark and Intelannounced they are planning to increaseCosta Rica operations by opening orexpanding accounting centers here (TT,April 15).

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