Bayer operations reaffirm the potential of Coyol Free Zone as an industry cluster

March. Costa Rica is making steady progress in consolidating its position as a destination for the pharmaceutical industry, and Coyol Free Zone is an example of such consolidation, with renowned life sciences companies located in the Park.

Currently, Coyol Free Zone is home to the Abbott pharmaceutical company, and the announcement that the German chemical-pharmaceutical company Bayer will be establishing its plant, focused on family planning, reaffirms the impact of this cluster specialized in the Life Sciences industry.

Costa Rica presents important attributes for the development of the pharmaceutical industry, such as a highly specialized labor force for manufacturing (Ph.D. and experience in product development/innovation), efficiency, knowledge and talent of the employees, as well as a good business climate and access to the main export markets. Another competitive advantage is the possibility of importing raw materials from leading suppliers, such as Germany, the United States, India and China.

Costa Rica is also making important advances in drug testing, clinical trials, patient data analysis, pharmacovigilance, manufacturing and packaging.

The pharmaceutical subsector, together with medical devices and biotechnology, make up the Life Sciences Sector, which currently hosts 83 companies in the country and has become one of the most dynamic engines of exports and sales in the domestic market. Furthermore, it is the leading exporter of goods (US$5.28 billion according to the Statistical Portal of the Ministry of Foreign Trade) and generates jobs for 40,000 people, according to the Costa Rican Coalition of Development Initiatives (CINDE), the Investment Promotion Agency of Costa Rica.

“The quantity and quality of Life Sciences companies that manufacture and export from the Coyol Free Zone is evidence of the Park’s capacity to offer an optimal business environment with on-site suppliers, which in turn opens new doors to explore opportunities in industries with a growing presence in the country,” said Carlos Wong, Managing Director of Coyol Free Zone.

Distribution, marketing and services are also growing areas that help to create new opportunities for specialized work and positioning of the pharmaceutical industry in the country.

Potential for Growth
As far as Life Sciences are concerned, biotechnology is one of the most common areas in daily life, but the least explored in the country.

“Costa Rica has the potential to continue growing in human and animal health studies that contribute to biotechnology. Therefore, it is essential that all stakeholders, such as the government, academia, entrepreneurs and investors, join forces to support specialized laboratories operating in the country, or those interested in moving to Costa Rica,” said Wong.

A reflection of this exponential growth is the expansion of Establishment Labs in Coyol Free Zone, which began construction of an Innovation Campus where it plans to double its manufacturing capacity to more than 1,900,000 breast implants per year. In addition, Nevro Corp. moved into the Park following a US$21 million investment in a manufacturing plant for chronic pain treatment products.

The 3 components of Life Sciences

  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Medical Devices Industry
  • Biotechnology Industry

Wong noted that Coyol Free Zone offers a broad ecosystem of suppliers and contractors for Life Sciences companies within the Park, such as packaging, manufacturing, sterilization, logistics and export, which reduces costs and maximizes the time and resources of the companies.

Coyol Free Zone is a park specialized in the Life Sciences industry where 31 companies operate. Seven of them are part of the Top 30 medical device companies worldwide.

About Coyol Free Zone
Coyol Free Zone is the leading medical device export park in Costa Rica with over US$2 billion per year, equivalent to 34% of exports in the manufacturing segment of the country’s Free Zone Regime. It was named Best Free Zone in Latin America, Most Innovative Free Zone of the Year and Business Center for Life Sciences and Advanced Manufacturing, according to The European. Recognized as the Best Free Trade Zone in the Americas, according to the international investment agency fDi Intelligence, and the most resilient Free Trade Zone in the world to Covid-19 according to Investment Monitor.