San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

North America still the main destination for Costa Rican exports

Costa Rica’s exports of goods in 2013 totaled $11.4 billion, representing 1.4 percent growth over the previous year, the Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER) reported this week.

Electronics, medical supplies, food and livestock were the fastest growing export sectors last year, PROCOMER’s director of business intelligence, Francisco Gamboa, said.

North America again was the biggest buyer of Tico goods (42.1 percent), followed by the European Union (17.8 percent), Asia (14.6 percent), Central America (13.9 percent) and the Caribbean (2.8 percent).

PROCOMER officials expect Costa Rica to surpass its annual export goal of $17 billion by March. A report on service exports is forthcoming.

Exports to Asia showed the biggest improvement, driven mainly by purchases from China, Japan and Malaysia.

Goods showing the slowest growth included coffee, fish and ornamental plants, mostly due to the behavior of the global economy, the decrease of international prices, and external threats such as rust fungus, the report said.

Other industries that showed lower export figures were metallurgy, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, textiles, leather and footwear.

PROCOMER General Manager Jorge Sequeira said the trade increase was mostly achieved by product diversification and exporters’ effors to increase added value, as well as market expansion to new destinations.

Contact L. Arias at

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