San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Foreign investment

Bank of America, Intel announce thousands of layoffs in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s high-tech and service industries took a hard hit Tuesday as microchip manufacturer Intel and Bank of America announced roughly 3,000 layoffs between the two companies.

Intel confirmed the closure of its manufacturing facilities in Costa Rica, cutting 1,500 jobs, after rumors started to swirl during the election weekend. Bank of America also announced that 1,500 jobs would be lost as it closes its service center, reported on Tuesday.

Both companies said the restructuring would be complete by the end of 2014.

It was not immediately clear if the financial institution’s decision to close was related to Intel’s downsizing.

President-elect Luis Guillermo Solís, who won Costa Rica’s runoff election handily Sunday, met with Intel Vice President Shelly Esque Tuesday morning. A statement from Solís’ campaign said that Intel assured the president-elect that their decision has nothing to do with his election or conditions in the national market for foreign investment.

In March, Solís told a meeting of the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) that he had no plans to raise taxes on companies operating in free trade zones, such as Intel.

Intel announced that some 1,000 jobs in engineering would stay at the company’s engineering and design departments in Belén, Heredia, north of the capital, and the company would add another 200 jobs.

A source close to the meeting with Intel confirmed to The Tico Times that the company’s decision to close its manufacturing facility was not a surprise, and plans to reduce staff likely started several months ago.

Since Intel opened in Costa Rica in 1998, the country has specialized in areas from manufacturing and quality control of microchips to engineering and other specialized sectors that helped attract medical supply manufacturers and other high-tech industries worth billions in exports in 2013.

José Rossi, president of the CINDE board of directors, observed that Costa Rica’s high-tech manufacturing sector had helped develop a service sector “that has been one of the motors of the national economy and continues to demonstrate an important dynamism with 140 companies.”

One of those companies, however, also announced layoffs Tuesday.

Bank of America, another major employer, will let go at least 1,400 employees during the next 12 months. CINDE President Gabriela Llobet told that the decision was part of a global restructuring by the U.S. financial institution that eliminated jobs in Costa Rica, Mexico and the Philippines.

Eager to distance Intel’s decision to reduce its workforce in Costa Rica from the outgoing administration of President Laura Chinchilla, Presidency Minister Carlos Benavides said that opening the country’s economy to foreign investment “has been an enormous success of this government,” and that it would remain a priority until the last day of the administration, May 8, when Solís takes office.

Solís reinforced his incoming government’s commitment to attracting and maintaining foreign direct investment in Costa Rica.

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Yes. USA is at fault for leaving Costa Rica leaving the country without jobs, Costa Ricans hates Americans the only reason why they smile at them is because of the money. The Pura vida is just fake.

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Costa Ricas blame american companies for leaving the country. I don’t think our companies are leaving Costa Rica just because… The companies are leaving because Costa Rica is not any more competitive.

There are many more companies leaving the country this year, there are even moving to other countries like Panama and Nicaragua where they have better tax breaks than Costa Rica. Keep watching the news and you will see how many companies will leave Costa Rica.

There is too much corruption, drug dealers, crimes, etc in Costa Rica so companies they don’t feel good anymore in the country.

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Shane Slattery

It’s not the Us companies fault, us companies should be here in America helping our citizens..

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Okay your right. Please all US citizen leave now Costa Rica. Give up your properties now. Thanks

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I add around $4000 a month to the economy of Costa Rica by living here and collecting my retirement from the United States.

I’m one person. Furthermore I’m a productive member of the community. A loving husband and father of two Costa Rican citizens. What exactly is so bad about me? Is your hate JUST because I was BORN somewhere different than you?

Tell me this, DID I HAVE A CHOICE BEN? Of course not, I was a baby, I didn’t choose to be born in the United States.

So it comes full circle, how is it a bad thing that I am spending my money here? You’re statements are not based in reality.

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Your right your all wonderful people US citizens stay and enjoy. You seem good and i like your views but some US citizen are Crazy. Good luck I don’t hate US citizens i don´t like the policy of US Goverment in Latin America. Guess by your view you agree with me.

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Andy Snyder

Ben, since you hate Gringos so much, like my Dad who lived in your country for 11 years, as a resident and helped found the Bird Club of Costa Rica, why don’t you tell the American tourists to stop coming too. Then, give your address to everyone in Costa Rica so they can talk to you personally about how their Cabinas, Motels, Hotels, Eco Resorts, etc. will all benefit when the Gringos leave. Don’t be a coward, do it!

I don’t know if you are a Tico or not, but you never have anything nice to say about Americans. Why don’t you try, for once.

I like Costa Rica and realize the U.S. Government has abused the peoples of Mexico, Central and South America for decades. I lived in Guatemala, with my parents, during the late 70’s when the government made people just disappear. The civil war there was tragic. Many Americans, including the MaryKnoll Sisters fought against this.

Ben, just realize that many Americans have problems with multinationals and the government up here in the States, also. I want your country to suceed but Gringos are not always at fault. Sometimes, it’s an internal problem. Just saying!

Vaya con Dios and put a little love in your Corazon!

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Most US citizen look the other way. It nice to see someone say some truth about US policy in Latin America. I was born and raised in Costa Rica my family is from Costa Rica and Panama i studied at UCR and did my master at Univeristy of Toronto. I have no problem with tourist coming to Costa Rica. I do have problems with US citizen driving up the cost of Housing and land price for us Tico´s. Most US citizen i meet are okay until you talk about politics or Health care then they get strange. I will say this about US citizen that come to latin america the young people are opening there eyes to the problems that old people in the US have caused in Central America and South America. Good luck

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Var Burns

The TPP will destroy one of the world’s last remaining treasures. The IMF is a destructive and immoral entity that has no regard for the health safety and welfare of people or the environment. Their only agenda is to make sure corporations make more profits and have more control at the expense of everyone and everything, They are the primary reason mankind is in such a mess. We should all reject privatization because privatizations means lack of regulations, oversight and accountability and the expense of nations economies for the majority.

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IMF are part of the US goverment. Your right.

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This is so strange. Intel then Bank of America. Thank you so much US companies. Who is next? Unemployment in Costa Rica is going to be 20% soon if this keeps happening. Thanks again Intel and Bank of America. Who is next any thoughts?

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Kristine Key Duke

Seriously…You’re blaming the US for another countries unemoyment problem??

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Can you Read i blame US Companies.

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Rancho Coral

The IMF is International a tentacle of The World Bank. Yes the US is included but by no means its director or leader. It’s been in use since the slave trading days to provide infrastructure to Banana Republics and Countries with resources and no infrastructure for extraction.

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