The authorities of Costa Rica reported on Wednesday that total exports (goods and services) reached a record $ 21,091 million during the year 2019, for an increase of 3.4% compared to the previous year.
Foreign Trade Minister Dyalá Jiménez and the general manager of the Foreign Trade Promoter, Pedro Beirute, revealed at a press conference that the diversification of the country’s offer cushioned the effects of a complex international context and adverse climatic factors.
“Diversification gives us resilience and does not depend on commodities. This was a difficult year but it has been a good year and we have seen growth,” said Jiménez.
Exports of goods in 2019 reached 11,526 million dollars, for an increase of 2%. The authorities explained that in the international context the performance of exports of goods exceeded the Latin American average that was a 2% drop.
“Costa Rica demonstrates a positive trend and despite the challenges we maintain a growth in goods. In recent years Costa Rica has maintained a curve that is healthy, solid and strong,” said Beirute, who said that in 2016 and 2017 growth It was 7%, while in 2018 it was 6%.
The products with the highest growth in the exportable supply in that period are those of the livestock and fishing sector (15%), followed by medical and precision equipment (12%), plastic (5%), chemical-pharmaceutical (5%), among others.
On the other hand, the products that showed a drop in sales were those of the metalworking sector (-9%), electrical and electronic (-7%) and agriculture (-5%), the latter attributed to climatic factors and the effects of the El Niño phenomenon, which has caused periods of drought in the country.
Costa Rica’s main export destinations are the United States with 41%, Holland (6%), Belgium (6%), Guatemala (5%), Panama (5%), Nicaragua (4%), Honduras (4% ), El Salvador (3%), Japan (2%) and Dominican Republic (2%), among others (21%).
On the other hand, the projections of the authorities, in the absence of confirming the figures in the coming weeks, indicate that service exports during 2019 are around 9,565 million dollars for an increase of 5%, compared to the previous year .
The main exported services are tourism and travel, computer science, information and telecommunications, as well as transportation, among other businesses.
The Costa Rican commercial authorities stressed that the year 2020 will have challenges at the international level such as the arrival of Brexit and the economic slowdown worldwide, while at the national level they still have to work to reduce procedures and facilitate trade, to contribute to investment, employment generation and increase exports.