7,000 new jobs seen as a result of 2010 investments

An investment of more than $434 million and the eventual creation of more than 7,000 new jobs will result from foreign direct investment in high-tech industries announced in 2010, according to the Ministerio de Ccomercio Exterior.

The new jobs are roughly split amongst three categories, services (call centers), tech manufacturing, and life sciences.

The latter is usually referred to as medical instruments because that’s what has been the bulk of investment in Costa Rica, but the export promotion agencies are hopeful of attracting biomedical research as well.

Call centers provide more than 30,000 jobs to mostly young people with English skills, though much Spanish- language support for large telecom companies in the United States is moving here. About 100 call center operators are now in the country, mostly in tax exempt free zones in Heredia. New companies include Teleperformance and National Instruments.

Medical instruments like heart stents and catheters are the main products associated with new entrants. Abbott Vascular recently announced a large investment. General Microcircuits is joining giant Intel in moving production here.

In 2011 a joint effort between the ministry and the private sector export promotion agency CINDE will take effect, with plans to seek investment from North America, Europe, and Asia.

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