NEW YORK, USA -- The president of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solis; the minister of foreign trade, Alexander Mora; and the president and director general of the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE), Jose Rossi and Gabriela Llobet announced on Tuesday in New York that Intel will open in Costa Rica a one-of-a-kind mega lab for the validation and testing of its products in development.
From the mega lab, Costa Rican technicians and engineers will be responsible for authorizing and determining the efficiency and quality of new Intel products prior to their manufacturing and distribution, setting the pace of new technology from Intel.
The operation is part of the manufacturing research and development division of Intel Corporation. The mega lab will employ 350 people.
The mega lab adds to Intel's existing operations in Costa Rica, including a development and engineering center that employs 700 Costa Ricans, and the global shared services center with approximately 800 additional employees.
Total payroll for Intel in Costa Rica will reach more than 1,500 people by the end of 2014, with potential for future growth.
Intel's decision to bring this new operation to Costa Rica was confirmed on Monday, during a meeting held between Solis and Intel's CEO, Brian Krzanich, at the company's headquarters in Silicon Valley. This meeting was one component of a US investment promotion mission led by Solis and accompanied by CINDE.
The government of Costa Rica and Intel also agreed to explore the opportunity to establish a laboratory for high-tech SMEs within Intel's facilities in order to foster entrepreneurship, connections and knowledge transfer.
The news is the result of discussions held over the past several weeks with Intel, CINDE and the authorities in the ministry of foreign trade-COMEX.
The president noted that this announcement "fills him with optimism and confirms Costa Rica's global potential as a location for highly innovative operations in the area of research and development and high added value."
"I am leading this mission with COMEX and CINDE just more than a month after my appointment as president to reinforce the message that Costa Rica is a country open for business. Costa Rica's talented workforce and competitiveness allows us to have an excellent proven track record with multinational companies that generate high-quality jobs for our people. Precisely this news allows us to confirm to the world that Costa Rica is and will remain one of the major players in the big leagues to attract high-tech companies. As a country we are committed to continue working to improve every day to ensure greater opportunities for our people," he added.
In a press statement released on Tuesday, Intel said that this mega laboratory is a unique type of laboratory for the company since it will concentrate most of the testing activities and research in a single location, which will interact with the different plants and operations of Intel around the world.
Mora said that with this news the country continues to show in a concrete and tangible way that Costa Rica has the available talent and favorable conditions to successfully accommodate high-tech operations.
"As a government, we are committed to continue working to insert Costa Rica in global value chains among the leading companies in both services and manufacturing technology. This new project from Intel shows the future direction of our country and allows us to reinforce Costa Rica's proven track record to investors," he said.
Rossi commented that this new Intel investment is a reflection of the transformation and evolution that the company has taken in Costa Rica over the last 17 years, and it clearly demonstrates the strategic importance that Costa Rica continues to have for Intel.
"Intel and Costa Rica have evolved hand in hand in these two decades. The company confirms that the country is a strategic location for its services operations, and moreover, a location for additional valuable activities, such as research, design and development."