Costa Rica exported more than $4.8 billion worth of goods during the first half of the year, according to a report from the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior. Despite some potential losses in the manufacturing sector, most notably the departure of Intel’s main production plant, Costa Rica has seen a 4 percent increase in exports from the first semester last year.
“These figures are very positive,” said Alexander Mora, the commerce minister. “The departure of Intel’s manufacture plant has had an evident effect on exports, however the efforts that are systematically being carried out to promote exports and diversify the markets are managing to soften any downturn.”
Free trade exports, excluding electronic products, grew 6 percent from last year to reach more than $2 billion worth of goods. Foreign sales saw a similar hike, topping $2.7 billion since January.
Francisco Gamboa, the director of commercial intelligence for the trade promotion organization Promotora del Comercio Exterior, said the country’s ability to steer its industries towards multiple export markets has created these sales boosts.
“Our principal market, the United States, grew by 4 percent, but we also consolidated destinations like Guatemala, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic,” he said, mentioning further markets explored in South America and the Caribbean. “To the same effect, exports to Europe increased as did Asian markets like China. This shows a diversification of locales that Costa Rica has on hand and that there are opportunities in many regions.”
An estimated 841 businesses exported their products to the United States during the first semester. And more than a thousand Costa Rican companies exported to neighboring Central American countries, according to the statistics.
In analyzing the data by industry, the country has seen a significant 5.5 percent increase in agriculture, livestock products, and fish exports. In addition, sales of medical devices went up 16 percent, electric cables by 14 percent, pineapple by 12.7 percent, banana by 7.4 percent, melon by 18.8 percent