Costa Rica is a democratic republic in Central America; to its north it shares a border with Nicaragua and to the south it borders on Panama, situated on land that links South America and North America. To the east is the Caribbean Sea and to its west the Pacific Ocean. The country’s name means “rich coast” in Spanish, and it is indeed a true tropical paradise, originally home to tribal natives of various indigenous Indian cultures (Amerindians) until its discovery by Columbus (who gave it its name). In 1563 a settlement was established there as part of the Spanish Empire, and in 1821 it finally declared its independence from Spain.
The official language is Spanish. The majority of the 4.3 million citizens are ethnically white descendants from Spain, although there are many Indian natives that have intermarried and joined the mix. It has a tropical climate, hot and humid throughout the year. It offers an extremely developed tourism industry, several fascinating nature reserves, active volcanoes and various beach attractions.For Viewing Costa Rica in Google Maps - Click Here
Despite its political and social stability and its standing as a particularly successful Central American country, Costa Rica is still a developing economy. GDP is 55 billion USD and per capita income is only 12,000 USD. The local currency - CRC colón -is named for Christopher Columbus. The economy is very diverse, including the main sectors of agriculture (bananas, coffee, sugar and beef), tourism (2.2 million tourists annually, most from the U.S.), and recently also a rapidly-developing advanced industry and foreign investments. The government encourages foreign investments and extending industrial scope by providing unparalleled tax incentives, resulting in such giants as Intel, GSK (pharmaceuticals) and P&G choosing to settle there. Additionally, the country has an economic-geographic advantage in its proximity to U.S. markets, the same time zone and direct sea routes to Europe.
Companies active in Costa Rica’s free trade area receive unprecedented incentives and benefits from its government, and also the advantages of the area itself. The registration process is relatively quick and simple, but there are several restrictions: companies specializing in private banking, finance/investment or pensions must receive government authorization. Furthermore, insurance or anything elating to fuel distribution are banned as they undermine the local government’s monopoly on this market. There are also some limitations in the area of telecommunications.
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