San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Drugmaker Pfizer concentrates regional operations in Costa Rica

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced this week the company will move all of its Central American and the Caribbean operations to its offices in Heredia, Costa Rica.

Alejandra Castro, corporate affairs director for Pfizer Central America and the Caribbean, cited the Costa Rican government´s decision to deal with the current financial crisis as one of the main reasons for making the move here.

“The management made the decision based on the fact that Costa Rica is a country which is politically and economically stable,” Castro told The Tico Times. “The basis of our decision was to concentrate the markets in one region that has demonstrated a high performance with a group of professionals… with a high academic background.”

Castro denies the company is making the move to cut operating costs, but does confirm the company has been affected by the current financial downturn.

Since last January, Pfizer has hired additional local employees to support the incoming international staff. As of Tuesday afternoon, the company had not confirmed the exact number or type of positions filled.

“There are no new positions regarding this change, since they have already been filled,” Castro said.

The move will begin in January 2010.

The company, which has been operating in Costa Rica for 50 years, will welcome about 63 employees from the Caribbean and other Latin American countries.

Those employees will work in the finance, business and administrative departments at the company´s logistics center, located in Heredia´s zona franca, or free zone area.

Pfizer made the decision to concentrate all of its operations in January, but decided to officially announce it Monday to coincide with the visit to Costa Rica this week of Jean-Michel Halfon, Pfizer president for emerging markets.

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