The Impact of Intel in Costa Rica
The Impact of Intel in Costa Rica
Competing for FDI Case Studies

Since Intel's decision to invest in Costa Rica in 1996, the case of the global electronics giant choosing the tiny country to locate its US$300 million semiconductor assembly and test plant has been widely recounted. Nine years after the initial project was announced, hindsight affords a fresh perspective on Intel Costa Rica and its numerous impacts, many of which were unexpected.

This publication focuses on the post-investment years by tracing a series of impacts, directly and indirectly attributable to the introduction of Intel in Costa Rica. Beyond its obvious direct effects on the country's economy in terms of GDP, FDI, and trade growth, Intel's investment decision was the catalyst for a realignment of Costa Rica's competitive platform as an investment location. Over time the effects could be seen in an improved investment climate, a more focused, strategic approach to investment promotion, a developing technology cluster, and newly secured FDI projects in other targeted sectors. The Intel investment also reached far into the local community, affecting education and the country's knowledge base, workplace standards and business culture.

The Impact of Intel in Costa Rica is one of several case studies in MIGA's Investing in Development series (now managed by FIAS). It provides follow-up context to the 1998 paper on Intel's initial decision to invest, Attracting High Technology Investment: Intel's Costa Rican Plant, published by FIAS of the World Bank Group. A synopsis of the FIAS paper appears as an appendix in this publication.

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