Global financial services firm Citi Group has expanded its shared services center in the Costa Rican city of Heredia, where it promises to invest US$35 million and generate 500 new jobs over the next two years.
The center began operations in 2008 with a 30-member team. Today, it houses over one thousand people who provide services in English, Spanish, and Portuguese for Citi Group’s operations in 23 countries across the Americas and Asia.
An important component of the company business, the service center supports operations related to finance and accounting.
After inaugurating the facility, Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís stated that Citi’s expansion demonstrates the continued trust that foreign firms place in Costa Rica.
The Central American country lost thousands of jobs recently as Intel shifted out a part of its manufacturing unit and the Bank of America closed its shared services center.
“This opening is a sign of our firm commitment to the country” said, Marcelo Gorrini, the Citi General Director and Country Manager. Citi has operated in Costa Rica for the past 45 years and offers a variety of services aside from consumer banking.
“This project is one of the model Shared Services Centers used as a reference worldwide. In Costa Rica, we have found the talent and conditions necessary to continue our expansion,” said Francisco Camargo, Director of Citi’s shared service center.
According to Alexander Mora, Costa Rica’s Minister of Foreign Trade, services increased from 12% of the nation’s exports in 1999 to 49% in 2013. Technology and service companies are the main generators of employment in in the Central American country.