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Costa Rica - The Country

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Costa Rica's system of government is very similar to that of the United States of America. There are three branches of government: the Executive, which consists of the president, two vice presidents and advisors, the Legislative Assembly, with 57 individually elected deputies, and the Judicial Branch, which consists of civil, criminal, appellate and constitutional courts. The President and members of the Legislative Assembly are elected for four-year terms and the president can't run for reelection.

The two main parties are the National Liberation Party (PLN) and the United Social Christian Party (PUSC).

Map of Costa Rica

Political and Economical Stability

Costa Rica's political and economical stability has fostered one of the most reliable and transparent business climates in America. Fiscal incentives are offered, as well as a highly skilled labor force (95% of the population is literate), making high quality operations available at competitive operational costs. This environment fosters long term planning for multinational corporations that seek to establish or expand operations in a country that has consistently been rated as having one of the lowest risk ratings for investment. Costa Rica has become a country that attracts capital and technology intensive investment.

Costa Rica is the oldest democracy in Latin America. Its history and political system contrast with those of neighbor nations. The country has steadily developed and maintained democratic institutions in an orderly, constitutional scheme for government succession. Due to the fact that the armed forces were abolished in 1948, the resources that were once used for this matter have been devoted to education, personal health and an emerging broad middle class.

According to the United Nations' Human Development Index, Costa Rica has been classified as the country with the best quality of human resources among developing nations. This is based on life expectancy, literacy rate and general quality of life indicators compared to those of the most developed countries in the world

During 1993 and 1994 the country's GDP grew at an average 4.84% per trimester compared to the same trimester of the previous year. The GDP's growth during 1995 was of 2.5%, significantly exceeding Latin America's previous year's average of 0.6%, but somewhat short of the country's goals. Strict economic policies were established during 1995 in an attempt to stimulate the country's growth. These efforts will be consolidated during 1996 and are expected to maintain the steady economic growth of the GDP.


Located in the middle of the American Continent, Costa Rica borders with Panamá to the south and Nicaragua to the north, with its Pacific and Atlantic coasts merely 175 miles apart. The total area of the country is 51,000 sq. km. (19,632 sq. mi.). The capital city is SanJosé (pop. 1 million). The country's total population as of 1995 was 3.3 million inhabitants.

As befits the country's location, air and ocean freight transportation services are provided to major American, Mexican, Central American, South American and Caribbean ports and cities. This makes the country a superb location and strategic base for world markets, especially for the distribution of products to the Caribbean basin region.

The following are some international industries and services established in Costa Rica:

Precision Concepts
General Dentistry
Conair Corp.
C & K Components
DSC Communications
BLH Electronics
Panduit Inc.
Reliability Inc.
Sawtek Inc.
Alpha Core Inc.
Baxter Healthcare
Vernitron Corp
Magnetic Engineering
Acer America Corp
Firestone - Bridgestone
Protek Electronics
TRIMPOT Electronics
Sensor Scientific
Eaton Industrial Controls
Schneider Group
Plato Products
Bali Co.
North & Judd
Jordache International
Technical Machinery
Wrangler Blue
Bell Phase

Change Techn.
AFA Products Corp.
Sharp & Dohme
Crown Cork
Hardwood Co.
H.B. Fuller
Coloplast Corp.
S.C. Johnson
Todd Uniforms
Sherwin Williams
Hosiery Concepts
3M Union Apparel
Rawlings Sporting
Jockey International
Avon Products
Prentiss Manufacturing
Samuel Aaron
Mallory & Church
William Carter Co.
Smith Kline
Gilmore Trading
Hanes Printables
Scott Paper
LM Industries
Dan Howard Ind.
Coca Cola
Mountain High Knitting
Colgate Palmolive
Sierra Corp.
Chantelle Lingerie
Johnson & Johnson
Spring City Mills
Sterling Products
Young An Hat
Well Plastics
Padco Inc.
Chiquita Brands International
American Pharmaseals.
Fresh Fruits International
Carrington Labs.
Caribbean Americas, Ltd.
Apex Boats
Republic Tobacco Company
Ston Forestal
Jewolmont Corp.
Warnaco Sourcing
Sport Products
LST Laser
Sony Music
Costa Rica GreenCosta Rica Green ActivitiesCosta Rica Green Questions & AnswersThe Country of Costa Rica