Jorge Sequeira, the former executive of PROCOMER, Costa Rica’s foreign trade promotion office, has been chosen to replace Gabriela Llobet as the director general of CINDE, the nation’s investment promotion agency.
“Sequeira has extensive experience in foreign trade and his profile fits into our need,” said Joseph Rossi, President of CINDE’s board of management. The new director general will assume office on October 1.
On being selected for the post, Sequeira said he will focus on strengthening small and medium-sized enterprises and encouraging investment in technology services and life sciences.
“CINDE is one of the key drivers of development and quality jobs in Costa Rica, and it is very rewarding to assume leadership of the professional team,” he said.
Staffed with about 45 employees, CINDE is tasked with the challenge of attracting foreign investment and increasing job opportunities in the Central American country.
Costa Rica is home to a large number of foreign outsourcing and technology service companies.
More than 50 foreign multinationals are operating in the Central American nation. Since 2013 alone, six international firms, including Citi, Cargill, Pfizer, Kimberly Clark and UST Global, have expanded their operations there.
Foreign multinationals tend to invest heavily and generate a lot of jobs. According to Costa Rican newspaper Nacion, 10 large companies in the global services sector employ 16,000 people in the country.
However, expensive electricity costs and rising wages have remained the primary obstacles when it comes to attracting foreign investment.
Expensive labor in particular has already cost the nation a few foreign investments. Stream Global, for example, left Costa Rica a year ago, citing rising wages.