Alajuela, Costa Rica. Evolution Free Zone, the new free zone that began the construction of infrastructure works and buildings today in Tacares de Grecia, will create over the next 15 years about 20,000 quality jobs that will benefit the residents of Alajuela, San Ramón, Grecia, Atenas, Naranjo, Palmares, Poás, Zarcero and Valverde Vega, among other places in the Western part of the country.
CODE Development Group, with 100% national capital and extensive experience in the construction and management of Industrial Parks and Free Trade Zones in Costa Rica, will invest US$50 million in the first phase of Evolution, out of an estimated total of $200 million. The new-generation smart park, where innovation, technology, and sustainable development will be fundamental pillars, will be developed on 100 hectares of land located next to Route 1.
Vision, humanity and ethics motivate this free zone that aims to attract High Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Life Sciences and Value-Added Services companies to the Western part of the province of Alajuela. It is an Industrial Park where world class infrastructure, global ideas and human talent converge to offer multinational companies the possibility of a long-term plan to ensure their future growth.
One of the first companies worldwide to set up in this Free Trade Zone is OKAY Industries, which specializes in the manufacture of high-precision metal and plastic components used in different surgical procedures to improve the lives of patients around the world. The process of growth and expansion of Okay Industries, established in the country for 10 years, includes more than 10,000 m², adding to its capacities clean rooms, greater capacity for assembly in molding areas and metal finishing processes, for which it plans to create 200 new jobs.
Alvaro Carballo, President of Code Development Group, assures that “Evolution is committed to being a free trade zone integrated to the community, with global standards that improve the quality of life and well-being of the people of the Western region of Alajuela”.
Currently, more than 60,000 people leave the Western part of the country to work in other parts of the country, which is why we are seeking to strengthen their roots as well as the economic wealth of this region.
The President of the Republic, Mr. Rodrigo Chaves, assures: “we promised to remove obstacles and eliminate unnecessary procedures which not only affect the pockets of investors, but also delay the development of communities, such as those in the west of Alajuela, full of talent and technology, eager to be tapped and to contribute with their knowledge to the country. That is why today, thanks to the efforts of many people involved, we can tell you that we have delivered”.
The Free Trade Zones regime plays a key dynamizing role in the country’s economic system and has a multiplier effect on employment. During 2021, this sector provided almost 188,000 jobs and represented 12% of Costa Rica’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with an absolute contribution of US$7.23 billion.
In addition, Free Trade Zones have a positive impact on Costa Rica’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the transfer of technology, knowledge, and best practices resulting from the commercial relationship they share. This is a successful model that generates 11,000 productive linkages and local purchases for US$3,108.5 million.
As its name indicates, Evolution Free Zone expects to develop, transform and generate growth and new opportunities for the communities of the Western region of Alajuela, which has human talent with an outstanding technical and professional level.
Consistent with its vision of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, Evolution Free Zone has been working with communities, schools, high schools and organizations in the areas near the future technology park. In recent months, very positive meetings have been held with Development Associations, educational centers, local governments and neighbors, to learn about their realities and seek future activities for the common good, in order to contribute in a sustainable way to the communities.
To Alvaro Carballo, “with its social projects and their economic impact, Evolution Free Zone will mark a before and after for the Western region of Alajuela”. Working with the communities is one of the priorities, which is why a community relations program, called Evoluciona, is already being developed. It will significantly boost the Western region, with a long-term vision for the well-being of the canton and its inhabitants.
Carballo explained that the commitment is to promote and enhance the technical and academic development of human resources in the zone, to meet the demand for talent that will increase with the establishment of more companies in Evolution Free Zone.
This free zone also aspires to become a park focused on environmental sustainability and for this purpose has the most experienced engineering team in the country in the construction of world-class industrial buildings and smart environments, with the highest global standards.
The technology park will be surrounded by green spaces where there will be a balance with nature, reduction of the carbon footprint, water reuse, use of alternative energies, recycling and proper disposal of waste from production activities.
With this environment, Evolution Free Zone aims to integrate education, production and environment, focusing on sectors that are potentially more attractive for the changes Costa Rica is experiencing in competitiveness, such as smart manufacturing, life sciences, electronics and value-added services.