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A number of factors exist in Costa Rica that contribute to its viability as an Internet market with vast potential. These include:

The Future of the Internet in Costa Rica and Latin America

Costa Rica boasts one of the highest standards of education in Latin America, with 75% of the population having completed grade school and 11% holding college degrees, and a 95% literacy rate. This comparatively high level of literacy translates into a large number of academic and professional Internet users and ensures substantive growth.

Internet use among Latin Americans as a whole is poised for exponential growth. According to a Saatchi & Saatchi survey, Latin American Internet use is expected to jump from 7 million users in 1997 to 34 million in 2000.
 

AmCham
The Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce

AmCham is an important resource for anyone interested in doing business in Costa Rica. We recommend a visit to the Chamber's web site at http://www.amcham.co.cr/

Arrival of Key Players

A number of foreign technology companies have recently established sizable operations in Costa Rica, a move that promises to ensure the country's future as regional hub for the information technology industry. These companies include:

  • Intel's $300 million Pentium Chip complex in a suburb of San Jose. Intel will employ 2,000 skilled professionals, most hired locally, to assemble and test the company's sophisticated microprocessors. The endeavor is regarded as a landmark achievement for the Costa Rican government, which won the bid after Intel considered a number of larger Latin American nations including Mexico, Brazil, and Chile. Ultimately, Costa Rica was selected on the basis of its strengths as a smaller country with less bureaucracy and more flexibility.

    With the arrival of Intel, it is expected that some 40 of the company's international suppliers will set up operations in Costa Rica, creating more jobs and solidifying the country's presence in the international technology market.

  • Acer has set up operations in Costa Rica with some $20 million invested in a 350- employee facility offering telephone support to Acer customers worldwide.

  • Microsoft has entered into a joint venture with Acer in the area of customer support, with plans to expand in the near future.

  • Motorola has invested $15 million to construct a 950-employee facility.

  • DSC, a Dallas-based Fortune 500 company and manufacturer of ATM equipment, has invested in excess of $15 million in a manufacturing facility in Costa Rica's Metro Free Trade Zone.

  • In January 1998 it was announced that three additional high technology companies are in the process of settling in Costa Rica. These companies--DEK USA Inc., EMC Technology, and Photocircuits--will invest over $11 million their first year in the country, according to company officials.

  • Announcements are also expected soon on huge investments from Seagate and Hewlett Packard. The Seagate deal is expected to be on a similar level to Intel's investment.

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