In 2017, medical devices became Costa Rica’s top export, surpassing the agricultural sector for the first time in the country’s history.
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Published on Tuesday, July 13, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff and wire services

The Medical Technology economy in Costa Rica is one of its fastest-developing sectors, which continues to show transformational growth over the past 20 years, according to a Health Tech World article “Costa Rica and MedTech: A growing Success Story.”

The British publication, Health Tech World, is focused on uniting “academics, researchers, governments and businesses of all sizes around the world working to progress the capabilities of health technologies.”

In 2017, medical devices became Costa Rica’s top export, surpassing the agricultural sector for the first time in the country’s history. Exports are set to hit $5 billion by the end of 2021 – increasing by over $1.3 billion in just three years.

"Such statistics are not only impressive but are indicative of the huge efforts being made by the country to build this emerging sector, transforming it from a minor part of its economy to one of the fastest-growing areas in barely two decades," the article stated.

Costa Rica is now home to nine of the world’s top 20 global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with more than 81 other med-tech businesses also choosing to be based there.

The top industrial export goods in 2020, medical devices now account for 35 percent of total exports, up from 16 percent in 2004. "And with 15 trade agreements in place, with two more in the process including with the UK, the export route for multi-nationals from Costa Rica is an attractive option," according to the article.

Inward investment is ongoing, with recent arrivals including Nextern and ADMEDES, while others including Viant, SMC and MicroVention all investing in the expansion of their existing operations, creating more jobs in this burgeoning sector. Pharma, health and wellbeing are earmarked as particularly strong areas for potential future growth.

Employing 1,500 people in 2010, almost 40,000 are now working in Med-Tech and life sciences, with ongoing investment in Costa Rica’s education and skills training programs to help support the availability of employees to match business needs.

And with the country being the base for end-to-end creation of medical devices, from research and development through to manufacturing and supply chain, with its capability to create increasingly complex devices growing all the time, its export credentials are understandable.

One of the recent international MedTech firms to expand operations in Costa Rica was TE Connectivity, an American-Swiss technology company that designs and manufactures connectors and sensors for several industries will hire more employees for its medical manufacturing plant in Costa Rica.

Those interested in more information should visit the  the Health Tech World journal site.

What other international company should open operations in Costa Rica? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to


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