Costa Rica: Medical Device Plant Inaugurated

With an investment of $55 million the global company Smith and Nephew has started operating a new plant in Alajuela for manufacturing orthopedic devices.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

From a press release issued by Smith Nephew:

British company expands operations in Costa Rica and expects to create up to 250 additional jobs for the next two years. 

Smith & Nephew, the global medical equipment company, (NYSE:SNN; LSE:SN), inaugurated today its new manufacturing facility for sports medicine orthopedic devices in Coyol Free Zone, Alajuela, Costa Rica.

The new facility required an investment of USD$55 million and will add up to 250 new job positions to the 1,700 existing ones, with the British firm, based in London, employing a total of 1,950 employees in Costa Rica.

The President of the Republic, Luis Guillermo Solís, as well as relevant representatives of the company and the government, attended the event.

“The Government of Costa Rica is pleased to inaugurate the new plant of Smith & Nephew in Coyol, with a capacity to expand the operation by up to 250 new employees. This is the result of the effort of the country to reinforce the conditions to compete and the alliance we have with business and productive sectors. Costa Rica is a stable and growing economy, with low inflation rates, and one of the top ranking countries for competitiveness. The expansion of Smith and Nephew comes to reaffirm the operation and our country’s capacity to attract foreign investment”, stated Luis Guillermo Solis Rivera, President of the Republic.  

Smith & Nephew is a leader in Sports Medicine, providing a broad array of innovative instruments and implants necessary to perform minimally invasive surgery of the joints. This includes the repair of soft tissue injuries and degenerative conditions of the knee, hip and shoulder.

“The manufacturing sector, especially the one of medical devices, is key to the process of diversification and consolidation of Costa Rica in global value chains (GVC), impacting positively on exports and investment and re investment indexes. Costa Rica has been working to be a counterpart capable of responding to the requirements, both in terms of talent and human skills, and in business climate and incentives. These conditions converge and enable a productive ecosystem that is moving away more and more from the manufacture and more into higher added value manufacturing activities, activities with more technological content, productive and business sophistication, as well as complex research, development and innovation activities.

In this scenario where Smith & Nephew takes the decision to expand local operations, they are showing the commitment of the company with Costa Rica, as well as the potential of the country. From the main government, we will continue working to promote and maintain appropriate conditions for the development of the company in the country, efforts that I promise myself as representative of this sector and the Executive Branch”, said the Minister of Foreign Commerce, Alexander Mora.

Smith & Nephew’s position within the global Sports Medicine market was strengthened significantly in 2014, with the acquisition of ArthroCare Corporation. The transaction added highly complementary products to the existing portfolio, as well as manufacturing expertise in Costa Rica. The new Coyol facility replaces the previous site at Heredia.

The new manufacturing plant will support the global demand for Smith & Nephew’s COBLATION technology. COBLATION is an arthroscopic procedure that involves the creation and application of an energy field, which is used for the precise removal of soft tissue with minimal damage to untargeted tissue.
Jorge Sequeira, General Director of CINDE indicated, “Smith & Nephew is part of the growing Life Sciences sector that exported US$2.200 million in medical devices last year, and this year we expect exports to close at US$2.500 million. We are sure that Smith & Nephew will continue growing in the country, taking advantage of our enormous human talent to successfully develop their operation”.

“Sports Medicine is a fast growing market where unmet clinical needs lend room for procedural and technological innovation,” said Olivier Bohuon, Chief Executive Officer of Smith & Nephew.  “We are proud to open this new facility in Costa Rica, which, alongside our established sites in the U.S., gives us the state-of-the-art manufacturing platform that will support our ambition to expand our pioneering Sports Medicine business.”

In this regard, Andrés Salazar, General Manager and Vice President of Operations for Smith & Nephew in Costa Rica said: “From the new manufacturing facility, Smith & Nephew will manufacture medical devices that will help improve the health of thousands of people around the world. We are very proud of this new phase that begins today, and excited by the prospects for the future."

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