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Costa Rica increases its presence in the USA with a new trade office in Texas

·5 min read
  • This is the 4th office of the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER) in the USA and its 6th in North America.

  • In 2020, Texas imported approximately $408 million of Costa Rican goods, making it the 4th destination state in the USA.

HOUSTON, June 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In order to increase investment and exports with the south-east region of the USA, Costa Rica has opened a trade facilitation office in the city of Houston, Texas, from which it will work on the promotion of Costa Rican products and services that have potential in the zone, as well as opportunities for investments and strategic alliances.

The official opening of Costa Rican Exports Promotion Agency PROCOMER's trade promotion office took place on Tuesday, June 8 at the headquarters of the Greater Houston Partnership, the city's largest Chamber of Commerce. The Central American Chamber of Commerce - Texas, the Houston Port Authority, the Mayor's Office of Trade, businessmen and members of the press were also in attendance. This is PROCOMER's 4th office in the USA and its 6th in North America, where there is already a Costa Rican presence in Miami, New York and California, as well as in Canada and Mexico.

Various studies carried out by PROCOMER have identified potential for exports in southern and eastern USA in sectors such as foodservice, information and communications technology (ICT), agricultural products, roasted coffee, health care services, the aerospace industry and artisan beer, among others; products that Costa Rica produces with certified quality.

"Texas is the ninth-largest economy in the world, as corroborated by the intensive migration of people and companies from other US states, because of its pro-business environment and job growth. Additionally, 30% of Costa Rica's international trade with the USA is with the state of Texas. It is for these reasons, and others such as opportunities in information and communications technology, creative industries, biotechnology and life sciences, digital animation, advanced manufacturing and medical technologies, that we decided to increase our presence in this state. We have detected strategic opportunities in this region, and the goal of this trade promotion office (TPO) is to leverage them and to continue building a solid commercial relationship that allows us to do purposeful business focused on people, the planet and prosperity," said Pedro Beirute Prada, General Manager of PROCOMER.

Costa Rica's Promoter of Foreign Trade indicated that moving into the south-east region of the USA is a good strategy for the country as the growth in GDP in those states has been highly dynamic. Additionally, the five states with the greatest share of the Hispanic or Latin American population belong to the West, which is an advantage since its population is accustomed to the region's products.

"We see great potential in establishing alliances in the service sector. Houston is a leader in the development of pro-business environments, and its innovation funnel represents an opportunity to connect with Costa Rican entrepreneurs that have broad skills and talent they can bring to developing big projects that benefit both countries," added Beirute.

As well as offering the products and services of Costa Rica to buyers in Texas, promoting the country's Essential Costa Rica brand, establishing alliances with chambers of commerce, centers for entrepreneurship and innovation, and sector associations; the PROCOMER trade promotion office in this state will offer other services: operating under a multi-purpose office model and working to attract direct foreign investment together with Costa Rica's investment promotion agency CINDE, in turn facilitating the work of representing business interests carried out by the Costa Rican Consulate in the city, thus providing support for the collaboration strategies maintained with the Chancellery.

PROCOMER's TPO in Houston will be run by Andrew Crawford Bolton, who has served as director of other PROCOMER offices, such as those in the Dominican Republic and Mexico. For more information, you can email him at houston@procomer.com.

Costa Rica in numbers

Despite the global crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Costa Rica showed itself to be a resilient country, with an export sector that overcame the challenges of 2020 with 1.9% growth in the export of goods, leading to an all-time record of $11.683 billion, $202 million more than was exported in 2019, a year in which there was no pandemic.

The four main sectors for Costa Rican exports gave a positive closing to 2020: precision and medical equipment exported +8% and represented 34% of total exported goods, the agricultural sector grew by 2% and had a 24% share in 2020, the food industry achieved a performance of +7% with a representation of 14%, while the pharmaceutical sector increased by 3% and covered 6% of all exports.

In 2020, Costa Rica exported a total of $4.91 billion in goods, the precision and medical equipment sector being the biggest contributor with exports of $2.53 billion; this is Costa Rica's main export sector (34% of the total) and the main sector for exports to the USA (52% of the total). The second largest sector is agriculture, with $1.287 billion in 2020 (26% of the total). Texas, specifically, imported approximately $408 million of Costa Rican goods in 2020, making it the 4th destination state in the USA.

The general manager of PROCOMER stated that 2020 was a very challenging year that negatively affected many sectors in Costa Rica and across the world. It was a year that tested the capacity for innovation and the reinvention of people and companies. Yet, despite the pandemic, the closure of borders and other barriers, the Costa Rican export sector showed a high capacity for resilience, strengthened by good practices in the country in terms of sustainability, diversification of destinations, clients, modes of transport and innovation in sales channels.


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