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Costa Rica Electronics Industry Overview
A vibrant export manufacturing sector
Electronics manufacturing in Costa Rica has a history that dates as far back as the 1960s. A significant leap forward occurred, however, in 1997 when Intel located a facility in the country. In that year, Intel established an assembly plant there that employed approximately 1500 workers.
Although today the company does not have assembly operations in Costa Rica, it does maintain a large design, prototype, and test facility in the country that employs more than 2000 workers.
Although most of the investment in electronics manufacturing in Costa Rica has its origins in the United States, a leading German Firm, Zollner Electronik AG, chose Costa Rica as its new location from which to service the Americas in 2013. Zollner is one of the 15 leading Electronic Manufacturing & Engineering Services (EMS) providers in the world. At the time that the company announced that Costa Rica would be the location for its new manufacturing site, the company CEO, Markus Aschenbrenner, noted that Zollner had chosen Costa Rica because of its economic and political stability, its educational system and manufacturing resources, and its strategic location.
In addition to foreign capital engaging in electronics manufacturing in Costa Rica, the country is also home to domestic firms that produce for the world market. One such company is Tico Electronics. Tico specializes in difficult to do assemblies that require both human and machine interface. The company employs a well-educated workforce and has experienced a low rate of turnover since it was established in 1995.
The electronics manufacturing in Costa Rica that represents the majority of production can be classified as high-mix, low-volume. This is characteristic of companies that produce for multiple end markets and/or for specific customers.
Companies that are seeking to conduct electronics manufacturing in Costa Rica can do so in one of the country’s economic “Free Zones.” Firms that locate in one of these specially designated areas enjoy an income tax exemption for a period of ten years with a rate that is reduced by 50% in the subsequent four years.
More information about electronics manufacturing in Costa Rica can be obtained by contacting the Central American Group by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.
Electronics Industry Outlook
International electronics manufacturing firms favor Costa Rica because of its overall operating costs, skilled labor, political and economic stability, and its proximity to the United States and Latin American markets. Throughout the development of the electronics industry in Costa Rica, firms have been concentrated in the components segment of the value chain.
Electronics manufacturing firms in Costa Rica operate using a high-mix, low-volume manufacturing strategy that is characteristic of firms that produce for multiple markets and/or specific customers.
Costa Rican electronic components manufacturers sell their products to a wide variety of buyers. Over one-third of the electronics manufacturing companies in the country s compete in the global aerospace, medical, and industrial end markets.