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Advantages of the Free Trade Zone Regime in Costa Rica – Coyol Free Zone – Costa Rica

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Benefits go beyond tax exemptions

Coyol Free Zone is the perfect success story of the Free Trade Zone Regime in Costa Rica. Our industrial park brings together world-class companies in a specialized cluster, thus allowing them to be more competitive and efficient.

Proof of this productive bonanza is reflected in prolific export figures each year, exceeding US$2 billion, and representing 52% of the value of medical device sales abroad, according to the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER).

Such results have positioned Costa Rica as the second most important exporter of Medical Devices in Latin America, only behind Mexico.

Multinational companies can take advantage of Coyol Free Zone’s cluster, while also benefitting from a Free Trade Zone regime adapted to the current global trade dynamics.

The Costa Rican Free Trade Zone regime offers:

  • No custom duties on imports/exports, remittance tax exemptions,
  • 8 to 12-year period of tax exemptions on the transfer of real estate and municipal licenses,
  • competitive tax on royalties and fees,
  • full exemptions on the imports of goods necessary for the operation of the company,
  • 100% income tax exemption for the first 8-year period,
  • and exemptions on domestic purchases of goods and services.

Operation-booster incentives for

Direct Foreign Investment in Costa Rica

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The benefits may vary according to the free zone location inside the country. Companies installed outside the Great Metropolitan Area get extended returns in specific cases.

Costa Rica itself is an attractive investment destination, with longstanding legal security, political stability, an ample talent pool, and a worldwide reputation as a country in harmony with the environment.

This location is also prized for its proximity to the U.S. and European markets, with access to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

In such a competitive country with many perks, Free Zones are driven to offer additional benefits that increase their value proposal, and make them stand out from the rest. Our industrial park is one of those cases.

What makes Coyol Free Zone special?

We offer the ideal conditions for Life Science companies to further increase their operation value in the region. We also promote other industries, such as smart manufacturing and logistics.

It is also relevant to mention that thanks to the presence of on-site sterilization services and logistics companies in our industrial park, we enable medical devices to be exported directly from Costa Rica to different destinations around the world.

This is translated into significant savings in production, time, transportation, and warehousing, but most importantly, into increasing the quality of life of millions of patients.

These operational benefits go hand in hand with complementary services aimed at sustainable development, such as human talent training, dual education programs, smart mobility, and eco-efficiency, among others.

People who work at the companies installed in the park not only enjoy quality employment, but are also developing a career that makes them competitive in the industry.

Our goal is to provide innovative solutions for clients who positively impact the economy, their employees, and surrounding communities.



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Is Costa Rica a promising location for the semiconductor industry? – Coyol Free Zone – Costa Rica

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Coyol Free Zone offers multiple perks and particular conditions that would benefit any semiconductor manufacturing company coming to Costa Rica

For many decades, Costa Rica has stood out as an ideal environment for a lot of advanced manufacturing companies, evolving towards an industry that innovates with Artificial Intelligence, process automation, and cost-efficiency.

With the semiconductor industry facing the challenge of diversifying its supply chain following a major setback caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian war, there is fertile ground to attract companies from this sector.

U.S. firms are seeking to expand their operations in Latin America, aiming to create a more sustainable production chain that could benefit the market stability, supported by the International Technology Security and Innovation Fund.

Costa Rica can also benefit from U.S. global leadership in semiconductor sales, which account for 48% of the market share.

Read: Partnership with Costa Rica to Explore Semiconductor Supply Chain Opportunities

Although this Central American country is an emerging market for semiconductor companies, Intel has paved the way for others, most recently opening an Assembly & Processor Testing center after more than 25 years of operation in Costa Rica.

Another significant aspect to consider is the CHIPS Act, potentially serving as a transformative force for the local industry by implementing regulations that stimulate both the demand for and the development of these devices.

Costa Rica holds the pole position in Latin America to attract new investments, but what makes this country exceptionally suitable for the semiconductor industry?

The ideal conditions for the Semiconductor Industry

Experts Devrin Call, Senior Director of Site Selections at Intel Corporation, and Daniel Picado, Divisional Vice President of Operations at Bourns Inc., listed the factors that make Costa Rica a potential candidate for the expansion of semiconductor companies in Latin America during the presentation of the “Enhancing the Costa Rican Semiconductor Ecosystem” online seminar, hosted by CINDE:

  • Strategic location: Semiconductors are expensive to produce outside the U.S. While the Asian region accounts for over 90% of global semiconductor foundry revenue, thanks to adequate infrastructure and sustainable production prices, the logistics and cost of transportation often represent a hefty downside of having the production chain located so far from the country of origin. Costa Rica’s proximity to semiconductor manufacturers installed in the U.S. translates to lower operational costs and savings in transportation and warehousing.
  • Leading the region: Due to Intel’s longstanding presence, Costa Rica boasts an ample talent pool of qualified professionals with experience in the semiconductor assembly processes.
  • Environmentally Sustainable development: Costa Rica is a regional leader in sustainable production: it generates more than 99% of its energy through renewable sources.
  • Neutrality and political stability: Since the abolition of the army in 1948, the country has become a global benchmark of democracy and a symbol of peace advocacy. In other words, Costa Rica’s political environment provides security to investors.

What does the Semiconductor Industry expansion imply for Coyol Free Zone?

We are eager for the business opportunities that the semiconductor industry enables.

Coyol Free Zone, as a manufacturing industrial park, offers multiple perks and particular conditions that would benefit any semiconductor manufacturing company coming to Costa Rica, such as experience developing infrastructure adapted to U.S. regulations, a highly skilled talent pool, and a strategic location for exporting.

Companies can also enjoy the multiple benefits of the Costa Rican Free Trade Zone regime.

Read: COSTA RICA: Privileged Location Connected to the World

Greater involvement in the semiconductor industry will also open opportunities for new investments that could lead to another valuable export cluster, thus boosting the country’s economy, reputation, and job creation.



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Women in STEM careers make their way into a world of opportunity at Coyol Free Zone – Coyol Free Zone – Costa Rica

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February 2024. In a world where scientific and technological advances are increasingly impacting people’s lives, women are playing an important role in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related careers in medical device and technology companies located in the Coyol Free Zone in Costa Rica.

This is the case of Silvia Arias, who currently works as Project Manager at Philips, a world leader in health technologies and development of medical devices, such as masks to treat sleep apnea, guide wires and catheters for cardiovascular procedures, and oxygenation and ventilation sensors for hospital monitoring.

In her position, she is part of a team of 10 employees in Costa Rica and the United States who work on improving current products, as well as developing new technologies and innovation to make them increasingly more efficient and with better quality for their customers around the world.

Arias assures that in Free Trade Zone companies there are many opportunities for growth. “In my 12-year professional career, I have had the opportunity to grow in different roles. I started as a quality technician and then I developed in areas such as quality and logistics, among others. Now I am the only Costa Rican in the Project Management group in the Research and Development area, which has a great financial impact for the company”, explained Arias.

Her passion for engineering began when she was a child, when her father took her to vehicle activities and she was passionate about how they made car modifications.

“I am an industrial engineer because I wanted to study something I liked and because I have always had the support of my family.”

Today, Silvia combines her professional career with her role as a mother and wife. In addition, she assures that although STEM careers are characterized to be traditionally filled by men, women can contribute in equal measure to the development of technology and science.

Arias is part of the 54% of the female human talent working in the 33 national and international companies in the industry that rely on Coyol Free Zone as their operations headquarters in Costa Rica.

Seven of these high-tech medical companies are among the top 30 Life Sciences companies in the world. This park provides 22,000 direct jobs and more than 3,000 indirect jobs.

Like Silvia, an increasing number of women are becoming interested in STEM fields. According to data from the State of the Nation (2023), the first entry enrollment record of STEM majors in public universities (Universidad de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional, Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica and Universidad Técnica Nacional (UTN) went from 18 to 14 males for every 10 females in the last decade.

The report states that in 2021, 4,521 men and 3,294 women were enrolled. It also notes that between 2000 and 2020, the total number of new women professionals in Science and Technology (S&T) increased from 1,000 to about 5,000 women per year, so their share increased from 39.8% to 50.5% of the total number of higher education graduates.

About Coyol Free Zone

 Coyol Free Zone is the leading medical device export park in Costa Rica, with exports of over US$2 billion per year, which is equivalent to 30% of the exports of the manufacturing segment of the country’s Free Zone Regime.
Coyol Free Zone was designated as the Best Free Zone in the Americas, and as Industrial Champions of the Americas by fDI Intelligence in 2023.
It is also the Best Free Zone in Latin America and the Caribbean for the fourth consecutive year, the Most Innovative Free Zone of the Year, and the Best Business Center for Life Sciences and Advanced Manufacturing, according to The European magazine.



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Coyol Free Zone: creating value through innovation and focus on the quality of life – Coyol Free Zone – Costa Rica

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At Coyol Free Zone, we offer a comprehensive suite of complementary services that allow companies to focus on what they do best, while easing access to everything they need to operate.

This has allowed our Park to become an industrial hub, highly specialized in the Life Sciences. Our service offering for the Life Sciences cluster is one of the reasons why publications such as fDi Intelligence and The European have recognized us as one of the leading Free Zones in the World and the best in our region.

What complementary benefits does Coyol Free Zone offer?

On-Site Sterilization: the presence of on-site sterilization services and logistics services allows us to provide the companies of our Industrial Park with the opportunity to export medical devices directly from Costa Rica to various destinations worldwide. This is translated into significant savings in production, time, transportation, and warehousing.

Sustainability and environmental responsibility: 9 companies in our park operate in LEED-certified buildings, and we promote the use of renewable energy sources among our clients. Many of the firms established in our Industrial Park have been awarded the National Ecological Blue Flag, such as:

  • Nevro
  • Hologic
  • Microvention-Terumo

Innovative transportation system: employees working in Coyol Free Zone benefit from an innovative system that provides a safe and reliable way to make it to their workplaces. Commuting to Coyol Free Zone is easy, fast, and accessible, thanks to RIDE Coyol, a service aimed at providing a modern transportation network with digital payment and routes connecting major population centers and the Park’s companies.

Focus on human talent: through specialized recruitment processes, e-learning platforms, and tailor-made training according to the demands of multinational companies, we boost the offer of high-quality human talent available for the Life Sciences industry.

Multiple nationwide alliances: we have alliances with more than a dozen local governments and multiple superior education institutions, thus promoting collaborative work to improve the living conditions of our surrounding communities.

Training and education opportunities: people can find in our Industrial Park multiple courses and training related to smart manufacturing, high-tech processes, and logistics for the Life Sciences industry. Furthermore, they have access to affordable English lessons through our alliances, and thanks to our program BachiCoyol, anyone can aspire to finish their High School Education if needed.

Convenience services: Centro Coyol is a convenience service center that provides food, medical, and laboratory services for all the companies installed in the Park and visitors. This area includes well-fitted rooms for meetings, workshops, and training.

Property maintenance: every installed company is provided with maintenance of infrastructure and common areas, as well as access to our wastewater treatment plant and maintenance of sewer, potable water, and stormwater pipes, alongside 24/7 security services all year long.

Read more: Centro Coyol is an innovation and services center located at the main entrance of Coyol Free Zone. It is a convenience center that has restaurant services, medical services, pharmacy, medical laboratory, dental services, physical therapy, psychology, nutrition and parcel services.

Satisfied employees are efficient employees

Studies conducted in recent years have found conclusive links between an employee’s level of satisfaction with their job and their productivity. Those who are happier in their workplace prove to be more efficient in the same number of hours than their peers who aren’t satisfied with their current position.

In Coyol Free Zone, we believe in the importance of investing in the human talent of the companies located in our Industrial Park: through our multiple training and education programs, we incentivize the formation of specialized and capable employees.

Creating an ideal environment for them nourishes their professional aspirations to have a career in our industry. Such synergy boosts the quality and capacity of the country’s Life Sciences cluster, while our companies enjoy satisfied employees, who are happy with the roles they fulfill.



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