Costa Rica: Industrial and Export Figures

Industry says that the 7% increase in industrial exports in the first quarter of the year corresponds to free zones, while foreign sales by companies outside of the regime fell by 0.3%.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The industrial association is still blaming the poor results on the loss of competitiveness caused by the exchange rate differential and high production costs.

At a general level the figures were not very encouraging. Nacion.com reports that "...The value of exports of goods from Costa Rica stagnated in the first four months of the year (accumulated from January to April), falling 0.33%, going from $3,210 million in 2015 to $3,199,000 in 2016, according to the latest figures on the website of the Foreign Trade Promotion Office".

Francisco Gamboa, executive director of the Chamber of Industries of Costa Rica, explained that "... 'Although industrial exports rose in the first quarter of the year by 7%, that was linked to a free zone, as, in contrast companies outside of the free zone saw a drop of -0.3%. We are very concerned that there was a decrease in the period in markets such as Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, South America, the Dominican Republic and Mexico."

He added that "....'Definitely, due to the devaluation of the currencies of our competitors, the policy exchange rate we've had is anti-competitive, anti-jobs, anti-production and anti-export and accentuates the problems of structural competitiveness such as the cost of energy'."

See export statistics for April 2016. (In Spanish)



More on this topic

Manufacturing: Costa Rican Exports Decreased 5%

May 2019

The outlook for the country's manufacturing industry is unfavorable, since in the first four months of the year companies outside the free trade zone reported a 5% year-on-year drop in their sales abroad.

Consistent with the behavior reported since the beginning of the year, in the first four months’ sales of Costa Rican goods abroad remained stagnant, totaling $3,693 million, just 0.2% above the figure reported in April 2018.

Costa Rica: Exports Stagnating

April 2019

During the first three months of the year, sales of Costa Rican goods abroad totaled $2.757 million, just 0.5% above the $2.744 million reported as of March 2018.

The most updated data of the Foreign Trade Promoter (Procomer) specify that from January to March of this year the exports of companies in free trade zones registered a 12% year-on-year increase, and in the case of foreign sales of products in final regime fell 9%.

Free Zones: Exports Slow Down

September 2018

From January to July 2018, sales abroad from free zones in Costa Rica grew by 8%, well below the 12% increase registered in the first seven months of 2017.

According to data from the Foreign Trade Promotion Office (Procomer) between the first seven months of 2016 and the same period in 2017, exports of products in free zones went from $2.874 billion to $3.208 billion, representing an increase of 11.6%.

Costa Rica: Loss of Competitiveness Takes its Toll

March 2015

Employers say the 18% decline in exports in February 2015 compared to the same month in 2014 is not due to temporary factors, but to a continued loss of competitiveness.

Excessive bureaucracy and the high cost of energy and other factors related to production are part of the problems affecting the private sector and are causing a reduction of exports, according to the president of the National Chamber of Agriculture and Agribusiness, Juan Rafael Lizano.

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