Is celebrating its 15th anniversary with the largest production and export of medical devices in Costa Rica
31 companies exported US$2,088 million in specialized medical equipment
July. The 31 world-class companies located in Coyol Free Zone significantly boost the growing exports of Costa Rica’s medical device sector, and have enabled this industrial park to create 22,000 jobs.
The work of these thousands of people contributes to the fact that the Free Trade Zone exports to the world 52% of the medical devices and precision equipment of the country.
The dynamism that Coyol Free Zone brings to Costa Rica’s economic and social development is reflected in the growth of its exports of precision and medical equipment, from US$806 million in 2015 to US$2,088 million in 2020.
This significant increase in exports is evidence of Coyol Free Zone’s leadership as a key player in the business and free zone ecosystem, thanks to which it has created 22,000 jobs, of which +18,400 are direct jobs, and +3,500 are jobs generated by subcontractors that operate full-time in the Free Zone.
The worldwide pressure for more medical equipment is also an advantage for the Costa Rican labor market. For this reason, Coyol Free Zone is currently promoting recruitment and training of people interested in strengthening their careers in the Life Sciences sector.
“The fact that Coyol Free Zone has reached 15 years of operation motivates us to continue positioning the park and Costa Rica as a key destination for attracting Foreign Direct Investment, driven by the best human talent, high quality, and continuous innovation. We are confident that, with this upward trend, together with the 31 companies established in the park, we will continue to achieve a significant impact that will contribute to the economic reactivation and job creation in Costa Rica,” said Carlos Wong, Managing Director of Coyol Free Zone.
Coyol Free Zone exports are equivalent to 30% of the country’s total exports under the Free Zone Regime, so many of the people working in this industrial park are employed in original equipment production companies, suppliers, packaging and export companies, logistics, sterilization, parts and components, among others.
Guaranteed professional growth in the medical devices manufacturing sector
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the last two years, Coyol Free Zone increased its employment offer by 11.5% in 2021, demonstrating that people of different ages and academic levels have found in the free zone companies, a window of opportunity towards continuing education and job stability.
Out of the +18,400 direct jobs created by the companies in the park, 72% are held by young people (18 to 35 years old), who had the chance to position themselves into operational, technical, and professional roles, while acquiring knowledge that have allowed them to specialize and often improve their position in the companies.
An aspect of relevance is that 54% of the workforce inside the Park is composed of women of different educational levels and professions, but regardless of their position, all have managed to enter into the labor market, and develop thanks to such quality employment. This reinforces the vital management of the Free Zone throughout the years that, alongside the 31 companies operating in the Park, it has positively impacted a population that is considered vulnerable.
Furthermore, 80% of the workforce inside the Park corresponds to manufacturing workers. The job requirements for them do allow persons with a low level of scholarity, or with little experience, to have access to quality employment with great projection.
A growing demand for talent in Costa Rica
The demand for professionals in engineering, mathematics, logistics and other areas of knowledge is met by Coyol Free Zone through strategic alliances with educational institutions, such as the National Learning Institute, the Ministry of Public Education and the Technological Institute of Costa Rica, among others.
Another important initiative is BachiCoyol, a program in association with the Ministry of Public Education that supports employees to begin or complete their third cycle of education and obtain their General Equivalency Diploma (equivalent to High School Diploma), without leaving the park, and thus enhance their professional and work performance. In addition, through an alliance with the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center, scholarships were awarded to students from professional technical schools to improve their level of English and strengthen their educational profile.
Coyol Free Zone is the first Free Zone in the country to participate in the Dual Education modality, with students from the Professional Technical School of Atenas, specifically from the Industrial Electronics career. These students are having their first job experience in three of the companies inside the Park under the “learning by doing” method, by training in two environments: an educational facility where the theorical principles are taught, and a company where they get the chance to put their learning into practice, according to an specific study program.
The park also promotes the creation of mutually beneficial synergies between its established companies and the community, which allows training and the opening of spaces for people in vulnerable social conditions. This linkage involves nearby cantons through cooperation agreements with municipalities to support the improvement of the local economy, and promote employability among their population.
To facilitate the effective mobility of the employees working inside the Park, Coyol Free Zone has developed the Ride Coyol program, which coordinates and supervises the operation of 440 transportation services to strategic geographic points on a daily basis, guaranteeing the safety and wellbeing of more than 14,000 people who use this service.
These initiatives promote the economic and social reactivation that the country urgently needs by attracting skilled talent, and strengthen the social network that has given life and sustainability to the park during its 15 years of existence.