Costa Rica plans to become a regional hub for semiconductor industry

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By LatAm Reports Editorial Team

Costa Rica emerges as a regional leader by presenting today the first roadmap in Latin America, designed to consolidate the country as a regional center of the semiconductor industry.

The Minister of Foreign Trade (Comex), Manuel Tovar, said that Costa Rica has the necessary conditions to consolidate itself as a reliable and safe regional destination for this type of investment, helping to mitigate vulnerabilities in the global supply chain, so we bring concrete answers.

The Comex presented the road map to 200 people, including international semiconductor associations, international financial institutions, more than 30 multinational corporations from different countries, academia and a United States delegation headed by Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

The plan is structured in four key axes:

  • Talent : focused on the training and development of specialized professionals for the industry, hand in hand with the BRETE strategy.
  • Incentives 0: with a view to modernizing existing incentives and designing new incentives to promote research and development.
  • Investment attraction: dedicated to positioning Costa Rica as an attractive destination for semiconductor investment.
  • Regulatory improvement : to be more efficient and transparent the competitiveness of the regulatory environment to facilitate such investments.

The aim is that both Comex and the national investment promotion agency, the Promoter of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica (Procomer), and the various public institutions, redirect and focus efforts on the semiconductor sector to accelerate the generation of human talent and the attraction of investment, this with the aim of creating skilled jobs, productive chains and the productive spill that implies the development of a specialized industry with such high global demand.

Costa Rica’s value proposal is in line with the needs of the semiconductor industry globally. Today we have companies that are important players in the industry, with more than 25 years of consolidating their presence in the country. We have a robust ecosystem that encompasses more than 600 national suppliers and specialized human talent. These differentiating aspects are fundamental to our purpose of consolidating Costa Rica into a hub for the semiconductor industry. In Procomer we have been carrying out strong actions to attract foreign direct investment to this sector, said Laura López, general manager of Procomer.

The commitment of the highest level to the development of this economic activity is reflected in the executive decree signed by the President of the Republic, Rodrigo Chaves, which declares the semiconductor industry and related industries of the public interest.

In the decree, the president entrusts the Ministry of Foreign Trade, in fulfilment of its powers to define and direct the foreign trade policy and foreign direct investment, to implement joint actions and initiatives to promote the attraction and facilitation of investments in Costa Rican territory in this sector.

Today, semiconductors move the world. It is a pride to know that, in countless technological devices, the stamp of Costa Rican talent finds room to demonstrate our potential. And I welcome even more, that that talent and potential that characterizes our country can contribute and lead the strengthening of the industry in the region,” Chaves said.

The president thanked the Secretary of Commerce of the United States for the presence of the Secretary of Commerce at the launch of the road map and described it as a reaffirmation of that vote of confidence towards Costa Rica, as its first strategic ally and its partner on the road to the technological future. The last time a U.S. Secretary of Commerce visited the country was 16 years ago.

Since President Joe Biden’s administration announced the Chips and Science Act, COMEX has presented a proposal with experiences and data that placed Costa Rica as a response for industry and the United States. In July 2023 Costa Rica was the first designated strategic ally nation of the United States under this law.

Semiconductors are the key components for various growing industries such as automotive, medical devices, manufacturing equipment and information and communication technologies.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in El Mundo