Entrepreneurship in Costa Rica
The United States is Costa Rica’s most important commercial and agricultural partner. In 2001, Costa Rica was expected to import an estimated $3.4 billion worth of U.S. goods and services amounting to 53.5% of its total imports. U.S. technology, products and services are welcomed due to the close geographical proximity of the U.S. to Costa Rica, and the high quality and wide selection of competitively priced products. U.S. style marketing techniques and malls are the norm. Franchise outlets and hypermarkets are proliferating. E-commerce is a small, growing sales channel, but is constrained by Costa Rica’s telecommunications infrastructure, lack of legislation and inefficient local delivery service options.
Costa Rica is one of the best Central American countries for Entrepreneurship. The local population has over a 95% literacy rate, providing an educated work force. The Democratic government is considered the most stable in Central America. The two major industries are tourism and agriculture. Boasting a large American ex-patriot population, a modern capital city, and miles of sandy beaches on both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica provides many opportunities for both local and foreign entrepreneurs. Due to lack of paved roadways and numerous mountains and volcanoes, many areas of Costa Rica remain undeveloped. The telecommunications infrastructure is currently being enhanced by the government. Growing tourism and American development within the past 10 years is helping to turn this around. The capital, San Jose, is said to be just like a typical American city. Service industries, such as offshore gambling, are growing.
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