COSTA RICA: THE FDI SUCCESS STORY

Frontier Markets Report | Costa Rica
Costa Rica has a long history of actively and successfully seeking outside investment. However, the country is dealing with high unemployment and an uncertain fiscal outlook, given that the government plans to ramp up spending on social programs, which could raise the debt level.

 
 
Source
Central bank

Central Bank of Costa Rica

International Reserves

USD 7.6 billion (2016)

International Monetary Fund (IMF), data retrieved January 2017

Gross Domestic Product - GDP

USD 61.5 billion (2017, estimate)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

Intl$ 84.4 billion (2017, estimate)

Real GDP growth
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
8.8% 7.9% 2.7% -1% 5% 4.5% 5.2%
2013 2014 2015 2016* 2017*    
1.8% 3% 3.7% 4.3% 4.3%    

*Estimate

GDP per capita - current prices

USD 12,381.8 (2017, estimate)

GDP per capita - PPP

Intl$ 16,982.5 (2017, estimate)

GDP (PPP) - share of world total
1980 1990 2000 2010 2017*
0.06% 0.06% 0.06% 0.06% 0.07%

*Estimate

 
 
Source
GDP - composition by sector
  • agriculture: 5.5% 
  • industry: 18.6% 
  • services: 75.9%

(2016 estimate)

Gross domestic expenditure on R&D; (% of GDP)

N/A

 

Inflation
2013 2014 2015 2016* 2017*
5.2% 4.5% 0.8% 0.7% 2.6%

*Estimate

Unemployment rate
2013 2014 2015 2016* 2017*
8.3% 9.5% 9.2% 8.2% 8.1%

*Estimate

Household saving rates

N/A

 

Public debt (General government gross debt as a % of GDP)
2013 2014 2015 2016* 2017*
36% 39.3% 42.4% 44.5% 46.9%

*Estimate

Public deficit (General government net lending/borrowing as a % of GDP)
2013 2014 2015 2016* 2017*
-5.6% -6% -5.8% -5.7% -5.3%

*Estimate

Government bond ratings

Standard & Poor's: BB-

Moody's: Ba1

Standard & Poor's / Moody's (Updated as of January 24th 2017)

Market value of publicly traded shares
2013 2014 2015
N/A N/A N/A
Largest companies

N/A

 
 
Source
Current account balance

USD -2.8 billion (2017 estimate)

Current account balance by percentage of GDP

-4.5% (2017 estimate)

Exports as percent of GDP (Exports of goods and services)

30.5% (2015)

Shares in world total merchandising export

0.06% (2015)

Shares in world total commercial services export

0.2% (2015)

Total exports

USD 9.8 billion (2016 estimate)

Export commodities

Bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar; beef; seafood; electronic components, medical equipment

Total imports

USD 14.8 billion (2016 estimate)

 
 
Source
Import commodities

Raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, petroleum, construction materials

Exports - major partners

US 33.6%, China 6.2%, Mexico 4.6%, Nicaragua 4.3%, Netherlands 4.2%, Guatemala 4% (2015)

Imports - major partners

US 45.3%, China 9.8%, Mexico 7.1% (2015)

FDI inflows
2013 2014 2015
USD 3,091 million USD 2,748 million USD 2,850 million
FDI outflows
2013 2014 2015
USD 308 million USD 83 million USD 141 million
Value of cross-border M&A, by country of purchaser
2012 2013 2014 2015
USD 354.2 million USD 50.0 million N/A N/A
Cross-border M&A deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2014

N/A

Cross-border M&A deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2015

N/A

Best countries for doing business

Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business. A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.

Overall ranking: 62 out of 190 countries (2016)

Subcategories:

Starting a business: 125 out of 190 countries

Enforcing Contracts: 125 out of 190 countries

Registering Property: 52 out of 190 countries

Getting credit: 7 out of 190 countries

Protecting investors: 165 out of 190 countries

Trading across border: 71 out of 190 countries

Paying Taxes: 62 out of 190 countries

Dealing with Construction Permits: 53 out of 190 countries

Getting Electricity: 27 out of 190 countries

Resolving Insolvency: 107 out of 190 countries

Global competitiveness ranking

54 out of 138 countries

(2016-2017)

Index of Economic Freedom

Ranking: 50 / Score: 67.37 (Moderately free) (2017)

(100=totally free 0=totally repressed)

 
 
Source
Time zone

UTC-6

Total area

51,100 sq km

Capital

San Jose

Currency

Costa Rican colones (CRC)

Government type

democratic republic

Languages

Spanish (official), English

Religions

Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical 13.7%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.3%, other Protestant 0.7%, other 4.8%, none 3.2%

Total population
1990 2000 2010 2014* 2019**
N/A 3.81 million 4.534 million 4.863 million 5.431 million

*Estimate    **Forecast

 
 
Source
Urban population as % of total population
1960 1980 2000 2013
34.3% 43% 59% 75%
Population median age

30 years (est. 2014)

Population growth rate

1.24% (2014 est.)

Life expectancy

78.23 years (2014 estimate)

Adult literacy

96.3% (2011 estimate)

% of population living on less than $2 a day

3.1% (2012)

Inequality of wealth distribution (Gini index)

48.6 (2012)

(0=perfect equality, 100=absolute inequality)

Freedom House rating

Political Rights: 1
Civil Liberties: 1 (2014)

(1 represents the most free, 7 the least free)

Total telephone subscribers as % of population

Fixed 19.9%   Mobile 146.0%
(2013)
(fixed-telephone subscribers and mobile-cellular subscribers)

Internet users as % of total population

45.96% (2013)

Cost of living - Mercer index(ranking by city on a basis of 214; the 1st is the most expensive and the 214th is the least expensive)

San Jose 132nd (2014)

CO2 emissions(Metric tons of CO2 per capita)

1.7 (2010)

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