Update on Free Zones in Costa Rica

In 2015 331 active companies were registered, of which 52% are devoted to services, 45% to manufacturing and the remaining 2% to the food industry.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

From the executive summary of the study by PROCOMER "Balance of Free Zones: Net profit regime for Costa Rica 2011-2015":

1.  Net National Product (NNP) for the operation of the Free Trade Zone System (FTZ) in 2015 reached a value of $3.179 billion, reflecting a growth of 5% compared with 2014. The NNP grew faster than the economy, which last year showed dynamism of 3.7%. Firms in the service sector were the largest contributor to this NNP, with an average share of 47%.

2. "... The study confirms that the FTZ of Costa Rica is socially profitable since in 2015 for every dollar of incentive FTZ companies generated US $6.2 for the country.

3. "... The NNP represented 6% of gross domestic product (GDP in current dollars) in Costa Rica in 2015.  

4. Companies and workers in the FTZ contributed US $515 million to the Costa Rican Department of Social Security in 2015, higher than the annual spending of the seven regional hospitals (USD 465 million). FTZ Companies also contributed US $22 million to the National Training Institute (INA) in 2015, representing 11% of the institution´s budget.  

See full report by Procomer (in spanish).

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More on this topic

Statistics on Free Zone Regime in Costa Rica

July 2015

A study by PROCOMER indicates that for every dollar exonerated in the period between 2010 and 2014, companies in the free zone regime generated $5.7 on average for the country.

From the executive summary of the study by PROCOMER entitled "Free Zone Balance 2010-2014":

4. Country Net Profit (CNP) for the operation of the Free Trade Zone Regime (FZR) reached an average of US $2.556 billion a year in 2010-2014.

Balance of Free Zones in Costa Rica

October 2011

The Foreign Trade Promoter has revealed in a study the benefits that free trade zones contribute to the country, including the 58 thousand jobs that pay 60% above the average private sector salary.

From a press release by PROCOMER:

A study by PROCOMER reveals the benefits of free zones in Costa Rica:

Simplified Procedures for Free Zone Companies

August 2011

Modifications to the Costa Rica Free Zone and Active Improvement Regime include 52 procedures that can be performed online.

Among the steps that can be done online is the facility for businesses to apply for entry into the free zone regime, and changing the level of investment as well as the minimum level of employment.

Costa Rica's Free Zones require definition of the system

November 2008

There is concern about the incentives to be received after 2015 when benefits expire according to World Commerce Organization provisions.

The Government wants to ensure these conditions through a reform of the free zone law aimed at attracting investment.

However, its early yet and the possibility of taking it to Congress for a vote seems far off.