San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican exports up 16 percent in first quarter

Costa Rica exported $2.9 billion worth of goods during the first quarter of 2012, an increase of $403 million – or 16 percent – compared to the same period in 2011, according to the Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER). March exports exceeded $1 billion, an increase of 11.6 percent over the previous year.

Costa Rica’s main trading partners are North America (41.9 percent), the European Union (18.8 percent), Central America (13.9 percent) and Asia (13.5 percent).

PROCOMER also noted that exports from Costa Rica’s free zones are largely responsible for the quarterly increase, as the sector grew by 22.6 percent, from $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion during the first three months of 2012.

“These quarterly growth rates are the highest since the third quarter of 2006,” Foreign Trade Vice Minister Fernando Ocampo said.

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