With a successful track record in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Costa Rica has had the necessary vision to position itself as an attractive and safe destination for a large number of transnational companies to set up operations in the country, with the Free Trade Zone Regime being one of the main benefits that Costa Rica has as a competitive advantage over other countries in the region and other more distant areas.
Therefore, despite the global challenges of the pandemic, according to data from the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE), at the end of the year 2021, new investment projects increased by 30% compared to last year and the establishment of new companies under the Free Trade Zone Regime increased.
However, most of the FDI that is installed or reinvested in the country takes place within the Greater Metropolitan Area (GMA), which means that not all people can have direct access to its proven benefits.
For more than 5 years, CINDE has been promoting investment outside the GAM, which has allowed a significant growth in the employment rate in these regions of the country, and the revitalization of the economy from the productive linkages it generates.
CINDE has identified 20 cantons, which it calls “Emerging Cities”, that have the necessary conditions to become investment attraction poles:
Many of these cantons are located in the Western Region: Sarchí, Zarcero, Poás, Naranjo, Palmares, San Ramón, Atenas and Grecia, the latter being the canton where Evolution Free Zone is being developed. An intelligent, innovative and sustainable industrial park with 124 hectares of land, which has within its objectives to create at least 15,000 quality jobs in the next 15 years.
“The Western Region of the country has human talent with the skills to compete with important regions of the world. Grecia offers a strategic location, with proximity to the other cantons in the region” said the President of CODE Development Group, Alvaro Carballo.
According to Costa Rica’s Free Zone Regime, while the exemption from income taxes for companies located within the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM), will be 100% for a period of up to eight years and fifty percent (50%) for the following four years, for companies located outside the GAM, the exemption will be 100% for a period of up to twelve years, and fifty percent (50%) for the following six years. Representing a significant increase in potential short-term net profits.
This resilient model has been proven in the face of economic crises and even in adverse environments such as the one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the strength of the Free Trade Zone Regime was evidenced, allowing to maintain the jobs of thousands of employees and the continuity of the businesses of the companies established in the country. Despite the circumstances, exports of goods from this Regime increased, totaling US$8,339 MM, i.e., 29% more than in 2020.“Evolution Free Zone aspires to become a global benchmark for attracting investment, transforming the Western region, and generating opportunities for all its stakeholders,” said Carballo.
“Evolution Free Zone aspires to become a global benchmark for attracting investment, transforming the Western region, and generating opportunities for all its stakeholders,” said Carballo.