Service sector doubled over the last five years

Between 2006 and 2011, the size of the service sector in the country nearly doubled. In this period the country went from net of exports from ¢ ¢ 1.351 million to 3.236 million last year.

In the services category includes goods that are not produced physically, but they are the result of human labor: calls, data processing, financial analysis, software development and payroll management, among others.

According to data from the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the participation of services in gross domestic product, reached 68% in 2011, compared to 58.5% in 2000.

“This has represented for Costa Rica a very important opportunity, we have 38,000 people working in this sector. All are world-class companies, “said Anabel Gonzalez, Minister of Foreign Trade.

Quarterly figures from Central Bank used to verify the impact of three activities within the sector: travel (tourism), information services and information technology (call centers and software) and business services (finance, engineering, accounting and design).

Although the trips contribute an important resource to industry growth, are computer services and the operating business as drivers of activity.

Exports of these two subsectors have tripled in five years, from $ 695 million in 2006 to almost $ 2,100 million in 2011. Also, from 2010, their combined exports surpassed tourism in annual sales services.

The rate of income of companies that provide services quickened it pace at the beginning of the last decade, during this period, foreign firms came with multiple specialties, providing services to its global operation.

A 2011 Deloitte study emphasizes that Brazil, Mexico and Costa Rica are the countries of the region with more seniority and operating shared service centers. The quality of staff and cost reduction are two of the most important aspects that evaluate companies that settle in the country.

For José Luis Arce, Cefsa analyst, one of the reasons that may slow growth is that the supply of qualified personnel can reach the final, as well as places to settle. “The sector will continue to grow, but increasingly more moderate” said.

Arce said that these companies look for cost efficiency, which has a positive effect on the economy, because they come when the global environment is complicated.