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by The Federal Republic of Panama Coalition. . 4 reads.

Global Tech Hub

City of San José, Federal State of Costa Rica

San José is Costa Rica's seat of the State government, focal point of political and economic activity, and major transportation hub. It is in the centre of the Federal State of Costa Rica, in the mid-west of the Central Valley, within San José Canton. San José Canton's (Municipality) population is 342.188 inhabitants. Together with several other cantons (Municipalities) of the Central Valley, including Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago, it forms the State's Greater Metropolitan Area, with an estimated population of over 2 million.

San José has become the most technologically advanced city for its inhabitants. In addition to the city's Technological Hub, urban development initiatives were coordinated, a new strategic vision of the mixed-use city and urban and interurban mobility was established as a priority, focusing on three points:

  • Fast Passenger Train, to link the cities of Cartago, San José, Heredia and Alajuela.

  • Sectorization, to better organize the entry of passenger buses to San José.

  • electronic payment in buses.

In 2019, the revenue of the "TECH HUB" amounted to NS$ 21 700 millions.

Center of Information Technology and Innovation of the Panama Coalition

San José is the capital city of the Federal State of Costa Rica (Central America) in the Panama Coalition known worldwide for being the center of information technology and innovation. It is a center for the development of new technological innovation companies thanks to the high volume of companies that manufacture chips and microprocessors in the region. The city has succeeded in establishing attractive policies that invite investment and startup, as well as scientific development and innovative education and investment programs. The technology sector has been exponentially growing since the turn of the century, with many tech giants settling operations in the Valley of the Great Metropolitan Area and attracting even more manufacturing companies. Costa Rica is garnering worldwide attention from the technology and services market, becoming a high technology-exporting city, being frequently referred to as the "Silicon Valley of Latin America".

This has given it prominence so that the city of San José becomes a technological hub, taking advantage of its strategic location, the tax advantages for companies in the sector and its development in matters such as Artificial Intelligence.

Highly-Educated Workforce:

The percentage of Costa Rica’s population that is literate is higher than 98%, one of the highest in Latin America. Moreover, the higher education system has led the way for national universities to rank amongst the best in Latin America, with the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) ranking at number 19 this year and Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica (TEC) being one of the most prominent tech universities in the region. Both universities offer majors in technology areas such as computer science, high precision engineering, and mechatronics. In the private education sector, INCAE Business School ranks as the second-best postgraduate university in Latin America. Computer & Communications Hardware, Software and Semiconductors are the top employment sectors in San José.

Costa Rica has an English-Speaking Population:

Thanks to its high educational level, since before the founding of the Panama Coalition (Costa Rica and Panama were the founding countries of this federal nation) Costa Rica already had a large population of English speaking citizens, ranking as the fourth most English-speaking state in Latin America. One of the main reasons is a mandatory English study throughout the education system before and after the Coalition, and it is reinforced by several public and private institutions that offer English as a second language programs.

Incentives to Invest in Costa Rica:

There are many incentives to do business in San José, from tax cuts to the welcoming of foreign businesses:

  1. Free Trade Zones: There are several Free Trade Zones (FTZ) in San José located within industrial parks that allow exporting companies to import goods into the country exempt from paying nationalization taxes. Also, some other tax exemptions are for exports, sales, and capital. Benefits for companies within the FTZs are a great way of both maximizing utilities and contributing to the growth of the local economy.

  2. Competitiveness: San José is the number one canton in competitiveness in Costa Rica. It is aided by government administration, business climate and capacity to innovate, in which it ranks within the top cantons in Costa Rica.

In regards to the rest of the world, Costa Rica ranks as the second most competitive economy in Latin America according to the World Economic Forum, and the 43rd and 45th ranked country in Innovation and Technology Development.

Educational Infrastructure is good for doing business:

San José is the center of the Panama Coalition. Its many university campuses, blooming commerce and multinational companies located in the city make it the go-to city in the Federal State of Costa Rica for foreign business. Its relatively short distance to the United States of America II and the Panama Canal allows for brief plane trips and close time zones permit the aligned of business hours.

High Tech Manufacturing:

Costa Rica was put on the map in the technology sector in the late 90’s. Since then, many manufacturing companies have arrived looking to assemble high precision and innovative products. Local and multinational companies are leading the way in an exponential growth of exportation of technological devices, with some of the main areas being:

  • Microchips Manufacturing: The giant corporation, Intel, started operations around 1999, locating a manufacturing plant in one of the Free Trade Zones (FTZ) in the Federal State, attracting a lot of other companies to the country and putting Costa Rica on the map for electronic equipment production. Around ten years later, Costa Rica had become the second biggest electronic components exporter to the United States of America II! This sector has done nothing but grow; new companies have arrived and established ones are looking to expand.

  • Life Sciences Industries: The life sciences is a recently developed industry in Costa Rica with massive growth in the last ten years. As of 2018, 72 life sciences multinational companies operate in Costa Rica, creating a total of 22,000 jobs. This has allowed Costa Rica to position itself as one of the industry leaders in Latin America, achieving the feat of being the second largest exporter, exporting to 60 countries in 5 continents. This is the most important exporting industry in Costa Rica, with a value of NS$ 2.8 billion in 2016.

  • Tech City: The Municipality of San José at the beginning of the 21st century launched a plan that was completed in 2020: the development of a technological city that encompasses multinational technology services companies, university campus and commerce, all in the same area. Tech city is home to information service companies and universities that offer technology majors and graduate studies along with commercial spaces. Many of the major technology companies have already approved the move to TECH CITY once it is complete; Research and development companies will take priority, along with start-ups. Giants like Microsoft and Cisco will be the first to start operations there with the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica as the first university to offer graduate programs.

  • Research and designs in artificial intelligence (A.I.): The municipality aims to host companies for the research and development of artificial intelligence for daily life and that promote advances in urban mobility, safety, health, education and social coexistence.

TECH CITY (CIUDAD TEC)

'ZEDE' (Special Zone for Economic Development) in the City of San José.

Tech City was the first stage of the 'ZEDE' (Special Zone for Economic Development) project that eventually covered around 39 neighborhoods in San José. It is an undertaking started by the Municipality of San José in order to revitalize, innovate and attract IED to Costa Rica.

An abundance of talent has prompted 29 of the Fortune 100 businesses to set up regional offices and includes name such as Google, Apple, Ebay, Nokia, Tesla Motors,Huawei, Intel, Amazon, Hewlett & Packard, IBM, Procter and Gamble, Dole, and many more. The reasons behind the meteoric rise of San José as a tech hub are many. For one, the city’s relentless pursuit of creating a highly-educated workforce has resulted in an impressive 98% literacy rate, as stated by knoema. This has facilitated growth for a multitude of technological sectors including microchips, life sciences, manufacturing, fintech, and software development.

Thus, San José became an Information Storage Cluster and a global provider of cloud services. The city has the ideal conditions: first world connectivity, an energy matrix offering one hundred percent based on clean energies, a critical mass of professionals with solid experience in design and first world operational practices in Data Centers, as well as a resource Very high-level technician in various specialties related to the data industry such as telecommunications, software, DCIM, BMS, Cloud, Big Data and others.

On the one hand, the TECH HUB has what it takes to become a global technology hub capable of providing an ideal node for replicating and managing the enormous data traffic of technology giants. The creation of this technological hub and the establishment of leading companies in the high technology and clean energy sector have stimulated the development of a sophisticated technology industry in strategic sectors such as Internet of Things, Big Data, Cloud, Robotics and Drones, Biotechnology, Aerospace Industry, Clean Energy, Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, among others.

Information Storage Cluster

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