Costa Rica’s medical device industry started this year strong, with a 54 percent growth in exports over last year, according to a report from the Foreign Trade Promotion Office. That places these products at the top of goods exported by Costa Rica so far in 2015.
The country exported $97.3 million worth of medical devices in January 2014, while the figure reached $149.9 million in January 2015.
The total value of Costa Rica’s exports in January was $725.6 million, an increase of 2.9 percent compared with the same month last year.
Foreign Trade Vice Minister John Fonseca Ordóñez said the closure of Intel’s chip assembly plant last year generated a harsh impact on the country’s exports. However, “the sustained growth in sales, mostly of medical devices but also in other sectors, is offsetting the negative numbers,” he said.
Other export products that showed strong growth in January were melons, with 51.8 percent growth, green coffee with 47.7 percent growth, beef with 39.8 percent growth and ornamental plants with 6.2 percent growth.
PROCOMER general manager Pedro Beirute Prada said he was pleased but cautious about the results.
“Even though the growth recorded in exports of medical devices is very positive, we should urgently seek ways to boost all our export sectors in order to improve the country’s competitiveness,” he said in a statement.
Costa Rica last month exported a total of 2,119 products to 106 countries. The U.S. remains the main destination for Tico products with a share of 41.8 percent.
The January report also highlights a 52 percent growth in exports to Asia, driven by increased sales of medical devices, as well as televisions, radios and electronic components.
Medical devices also boosted total exports to the European Union: sales to that region rose by 8.8 percent, according to PROCOMER.
Last year, the medical device sector grew 20 percent over 2013.