In recent years, the Life Sciences Industry has been a driving force for investment in Costa Rica.

The experience, success, and know-how of installed companies generate a favorable environment, leading other companies in the industry to invest in this country.

Costa Rica’s MedTech cluster is as strong as it sounds. Currently, 12 of the 30 Top Global MedTech OEMs operate in the country.Seven of them are installed in Coyol Free Zone:

  • Medtronic (1)
  • Abbott (2)
  • Cardinal Health (8)
  • Philips (9)
  • Terumo (20)
  • Hologic (22)
  • Smith & Nephew (24)

New investments have been steady for this sector, with several reinvestments in connection with consolidated projects. In 2022, 15% of the new foreign investment projects that came to Costa Rica involved Life Sciences companies, according to CINDE.

The export figures for this industry are also on the rise and building confidence for investors.

At the close of 2021, medical devices dominated Costa Rica’s exports, representing 36% of the total export offer and reaching the record figure of $5.2 billion.

In addition, foreign sales of devices grew 33% between 2020 and 2021, remaining as the #1 export product of Costa Rica.

 A quick view of the numbers

The Life Sciences Industry has become fundamental for Costa Rica’s economy, as reflected in the following figures:

15% of new FDI projects.

42.4% of the total export offer.

23.3% of the total jobs that are provided by multinationals.

Pharma Life Sciences in Costa Rica

The Life Sciences environment goes beyond the production of medical devices, with 27 pharmaceutical companies operating in Costa Rica.

Companies in this sector are engaged in leveraging operational enhancement through drug testing & clinical trials, patient data analytics, pharmacovigilance, manufacturing, and packaging.

This sector also delivers bountiful sales figures: pharmaceuticals & chemicals represented 6.4% of exports in 2020, according to data from CINDE.

The conditions that Costa Rica offers for the investment of foreign companies, in addition to the advantages of our Park for the operation of Life Sciences companies, were some of the reasons that led Bayer to start considering the country.

In October 2021, the German firm announced a $200 million plant in Coyol Free Zone. This plant will significantly upscale pharmaceutical operations in Costa Rica.

Scheduled for completion in 2024, these facilities, manufacturing long-acting reversible contraceptives, such as hormonal implants and intrauterine systems, will employ 250 people, and ship products to around 130 countries worldwide.

A prolific source of employment

What’s most important in connection with these industries is that their operations generate thousands of jobs for Costa Ricans.

To date, 402 multinational companies located in Costa Rica employ 184,200 workers in Services, Manufacturing, and Life Sciences.

CINDE has indicated that the Life Sciences Sector employs nearly 43,000 people, 23.3% of the total jobs provided by multinationals.

The role of Coyol Free Zone in multinational companies’ employment figures takes more relevance, considering that this is the Free Zone that generates most job positions in Costa Rica, and most of its clients are related to the Life Sciences Sector.

As of today, companies installed in Coyol Free Zone represent more than 25,000 quality jobs in different subsectors, such as smart manufacturing, construction, logistics, and R&D, among others.

Furthermore, multinational companies operating in our Park provide them with the necessary abilities to thrive in such a challenging industry.