San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Almost Half of Costa Rican Exports Are High Tech

Costa Rica exports the fourth highest percentage of high-tech products in the world, according to a study released this week by the Costa Rican Investment Board (CINDE).

CINDE used information from a recent World Bank study of development indicators to create the rankings. Of all the products and services exported by Costa Rica, 46 percent are high-tech products, such as computer chips. Only the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore export a higher percentage of these products than does Costa Rica.

“We looked at the high-tech exports of all the countries, including medical equipment and technology and computer software products and compiled all the data,” said Andrea Centeno, communications manager at CINDE. “We found that if we ranked the high-tech exports, Costa Rica has the fourth highest percentage.”

Intel Pentium microprocessors account for the bulk of the 46 percent high-tech exports. In 2008, Intel’s export of more than 86 million microchips bought in more than $2 billion. Microchip exports in 2009, thus far, have grossed $1.3 billion.

“Bringing Intel to Costa Rica has changed the way this country exports,” said Emmanuel Hess, general manager of the Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER), told The Tico Times. “Over the last 10 years our top exports went from banana and pineapples to integrated services and medical supplies.”

Sales of Intel chips accounted for nearly 5 percent of the gross domestic product in 2008.

–Adam Williams


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