“Free Zones” generated 20,000 new jobs in 2020 despite the pandemic.

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2020 will be remembered as a unique year in world history. Despite the challenges that it brought to multiple sectors, multinational companies represented a fundamental piece for Costa Rica, generating the majority of private sector jobs this year, a record number for the fifth consecutive year.

These results reinforce compliance and country contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Specifically, the Costa Rican Coalition of Development Initiatives (CINDE) as an Investment agency of Costa Rica, reports its impact results around 4 of them: Decent Work and economic growth, Gender Equity, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and Education of Quality.


The employment generated outside the Greater Metropolitan Area also registered an annual growth of 15% during the last five years. In total, 465 new jobs were created this year, for a cumulative total of 3,660 jobs. Of these, 1,600 positions are located in Limón and more than 500 jobs belong to the digital technologies sector.

Companies like SYKES and Amazon are examples of this expansion outside the GAM. In the case of Amazon, this year it registered 1,550 people who work virtually throughout the country and, for its part, SYKES announced its expansion in Guanacaste with the creation of 600 new jobs

The numbers.

  • New jobs created 19,806
  • Net profit from jobs 14,709
  • Cumulative employment 134,026
  • 54% of companies grew in 2020
  • Annual growth rate of employment / companies served by CINDE 12.3%
  • 9 out of 10 jobs created in the last 5 years were from CINDE companies
  • In 2020, 100% of the employment generated was by multinational companies
  • 49% of the new net employment was occupied by women, female participation reaches 44% as opposed to 40% at the national level
  • Employment outside of GAM has grown 15% annual average in the last 5 years
  • 81 projects captured
  • 26 startups
  • 55 projects for diversification

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