Why Invest in Costa Rica?

Developing Real Estate, Resorts, Hotels and Land in Costa Rica is once again on the radar of investors from around the world. Costa Rica’s booming tourism sector gives developers a great opportunity for success whether buying an existing resort or residential development or building from the ground up on raw land. 

The strong infrastructure, stable democracy, low cost of living, world-class health care system, and the amazing “Pura Vida” lifestyle make Costa Rica development properties, real estate investment and commercial listings an attractive financial opportunity, especially for resort real estate and hospitality based businesses. It is the most stable economy and democracy in Latin America so this has attracted investors and developers from all-over the world.

Costa Rica Investment and Property Development

What attracts investors from around the globe to this small Central American country? What induces international financial institutions, world leaders in technology and software development and manufacturing, the globe's most successful business leaders, and world-class luxury hotels to invest in Costa Rica?

Stable Political Climate

Costa Rica boasts an enviable history of political stability and democracy. Often referred to as the 'Switzerland of the Americas' for its peaceful political climate, Costa Rica enjoyed an uninterrupted democracy for more than one hundred years. Costa Rica differentiates itself from other countries in the region by having no standing army. In fact, Costa Rica has the admirable distinction of being the only country to voluntarily dissolve its army. Taxes are instead channeled into its education and medical systems.

Moreover, Costa Rica is ranked among the highest in Political Stability Index in Latin America (World Bank, The Worldwide Governance Indicators 2010). The country has no limitations on capital funds transfers associated with an investment, regardless of the currency and there are no restrictions are imposed on re-investments or on repatriation of earnings, royalties or capita. There is no requirement to register investments with any of the government authorities and Costa Rica has achieved international standards for IPR protection.

Human Rights and Healthcare

Investing in Costa RicaThe Costa Rican constitution of 1949 offers a wealth of rights and freedoms to citizens and foreigners alike including freedom of speech, press and assembly. Its citizen enjoy universal access to healthcare, and during the last 25 years poverty was reduced from 45% to less than 18%.

Foreign investors also benefit from Costa Rica's stand on human rights. Laws demonstrate a positive attitude to foreign investment whether large or small. Foreigners in the vast majority of cases enjoy the same rights as citizens when it comes to Costa Rica property ownership, and foreigners can own real estate in Costa Rica in their own names or companies without the need for a local partner as is the case of countries such as Mexico.

Legal residents also enjoy access to the excellent social medical system, and investors and developers are beginning to take notice of the fast growing healthcare and medical tourism opportunities offered by a country with skilled doctors, world-renowned private clinics, and 3 internationally certified hospitals: CIMA, Clinica Biblica and Hospital Catolica. CIMA just opened a full facility at Liberia and Clinica Biblica also has a lab at the Pacific Coast.

Skilled Workforce

Costa Rica's established social system also provides its citizens with universal access to education. As a result, literacy rates compare to those of Europe. The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011 ranks the Costa Rican educational system 22nd out of 139 economies and the first in Latin America. Children receive English classes in primary school and English is becoming increasingly prevalent throughout the country.

As a result, Costa Rica has a very talented and bilingual workforce. Read about the more than 200 multinational companies operating in Costa Rica. On average 95% of the employees in multinational companies are locals.

Infrastructure and International Access

Costa Rica is easily accessible from all over the world through two international airports: (1) The Juan Santamaria Airport is located in the center of the country at the capital of San Jose and (2) The Daniel Oduber Liberia Airport situated just 20 minutes to 1 hour from the Pacific or “Gold Coast” beaches.

Moreover, infrastructure throughout the country is experiencing improvement. Although road conditions are generally not up to North American and European standards, the North Pacific Coast has experienced rapid growth in infrastructure to service the flood of investors. New bridges and improved roads make traveling more pleasant and convenient. While most smaller roads remain unpaved, thereby protecting the environment and maintaining the tranquil charm of country, the majority of primary arteries have undergone improvement.

Water supply, of concern in Costa Rica and around the globe, is being addressed as well. The Federal Government Water Department, AYA, is now taking a more proactive approach to water supply throughout the country.

Investment Climate

Costa Rica continues to attract multinational business investment critical to continued growth and security for property owners. For example, Intel now employs nearly 4,000 workers who enjoy an average income double the national average. The company spends approximately $700,000 each year on education programs and contributes to various eco and humanitarian projects. Other multinational employers include HP, IBM, Emerson, Boston Scientific, Sykes, Vitec, Baxter, Hologic, Avventa and P&G.

In the financial sector, Scotia Bank, G.E. Capital, H.S.B.C. and Citibank have all recently purchased stakes in various Costa Rican banks. Globally recognized entrepreneurs are also investing in Costa Rica, such as Steve Case, the co-founder and former CEO and chairman of AOL, and Charles Brewer founder of MindSpring.

Residency

Like many countries, Costa Rica offers residency after a certain amount of investment. After an investment of $200,000 or more, you can earn temporary residency. After three years, this can lead to permanent residency and even citizenship, if you choose to do so.

Citizenship would grant you Costa Rican nationality and a passport through nationalization. Some countries allow you to keep your original citizenship while also holding a Costa Rican passport. Some do not allow you to do so, so many recommend sticking with permanent residency so you don’t have to give up your home passport.

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