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Expanding Growth in Costa Rican Cities

These 10 Costa Rican Cities Are Poised for Expanded Economic Growth


Puntarenas, on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast

The Coalition for Development Initiatives (Cinde) identified these 10 emerging cities as having the greatest potential in Costa Rica to start attracting new types of investment and increase economic opportunities; they are San Carlos, Liberia, Carrillo, Orotina, Puntarenas, Perez Zeledón, Limón, Pococí, Siquirres, and Turrialba

These cities are located in counties which have “a significant degree of maturity and visible opportunities to be investment attraction magnets outside the Greater Metropolitan Area [or GAMA, its initials in Spanish],” said Cinde.

The cities stood out in a national analysis launched by Cinde in 2013 to identify and promote economic growth outside of the San José area.

In 2015, six counties were identified as key investment sites, with 21 cities noted as important growth areas in the study, “New investment opportunities in emerging cities in Costa Rica.”

Based on this, work to further prepare these top 10 promising cities started in January to “allow them to reach the level of requirement similar to that offered by areas in the GAMA,” explained Margarita Umaña, director of Cinde’s planning and strategy department.

“This does not mean that we are not continuing to work with other counties that are also in emerging regions; but these 10 communities do have advantages that are expected to allow them to be ready at the beginning of 2018 to intensify the process of international projection,” said Umaña.

The cities’ leaders were given an orientation to help identify and create better conditions to promote foreign and local investment with the collaboration of local governments, community leaders, civic groups and local organizations.

Cinde hopes that their analyis will guide the cities in improving key areas such as infrastructure (electricity, telecommunications, transportation, among others), human resources (academic and technical training, language skills), and to take stock of their existing advantages and economic activities and strengths.

“This is a triple helix effort which requires collaboration from the government, academia and business sectors so that there really is a commitment to meeting the objectives,” Umaña said.

Cinde is also compiling a “GPS of human talent,” which aims to offer a searchable database of specific key human resources, with profiles of existing professionals, technicians and other skilled workers throughout the country.

The ultimate goal is to be able to promote the unique strengths and opportunities available in each city to potential investors, both in Costa Rica, in Central America and beyond, said Cinde.