The Business Year

Fernando Caraz

General Manager, La Lima Free Zone

Our success can be demonstrated by the increase in occupancy rates and incredibly low turnover rates in our tenants. In terms of social responsibility programs, La Lima has adopted programs of its parent company Garnier & Garnier. We engage the community first before starting any project and provide them with in-house diagnostics of their needs. We also explain the investment that is coming and the development it will bring. We did that five or six years ago for La Lima. Since then, we have formed a community committee to bring the residents and other companies on board. Notably, the design of the park includes four different retention lagoons, which were made to limit the impact of water access. Another example is reforestation, which we do along bodies of water to prevent erosion. We have also started a robotics program in three different schools in the La Lima area.

Carlos Wong

General Manager, Coyol Free Zone

Coyol is a hub for medical devices and over time, we have been able to create sophisticated assembly processes; however, the challenge is to acquire the right suppliers. We started bringing strategic suppliers to Costa Rica for sterilization processes, allowing products to be exported directly from Costa Rica to Europe, Africa, or Latin America. Growth begins with a solid master plan. Some developers use a short-term view; however, we had a long-term plan for infrastructure, different from the Costa Rican standard. We are basically competing with any park in Ireland, Mexico, or the US. We established the needed facilities, from the design of the building to the different solutions needed by different companies. That also required a strong utilities base, because sophisticated manufacturing processes require better quality of energy. We discussed this with the government for six years, and it built the most sophisticated substation in Costa Rica.

Alvaro Monge Real

Estate General Manager, Alvaro Monge Real

Companies are looking to have lower operating costs, and Costa Rica is giving them a recognized formula that offers competitive costs in some of the growing activities worldwide. These include the services, manufacturing, medical devices, electronics, and advanced manufacturing industries. Equally important, we have the required talent for these operations. Montecristo Holdings has a presence in the service and manufacturing industries. We have been highly successful in the service industry on the east side of San José city with Parque Empresarial del Este, giving businesses a big advantage by being close to where people live and study. As a result, we have had 100% occupancy since day one. The main difference between Montecristo’s parks and others is that we provide a product that is competitive, without sacrificing the main services and support that companies require when operating in an industrial or business park.

Eugenio Quirós Benambourg

Executive Director, Association of Free Trade Zone Companies of Costa Rica (AZOFRAS)

Since our establishment 28 years ago, we have supported the sector, not only by protecting the free zones regime but also by promoting economic activity. At the moment, we group not only free trade zone companies and parks but also companies providing goods and services within the free trade zones. The main advantage of AZOFRAS is the representation. In the last 28 years, there have been important struggles in the sector to protect the free trade zone regime, and we are working hard to sustain a positive investment climate. AZOFRAS is a family, which is what our membership perceives; companies always support us in all the issues that we lead. Moving forward, we expect to identify and link more local suppliers with multinational companies. We need to raise awareness of the importance of the country brand, not only for local companies but also for multinationals.

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