President Luis Guillermo Solís said he would meet with leaders from Intel in Palo Alto, California, during his first trip to the United States since taking office in May. The president will travel to Palo Alto on Monday, June 9 before flying to New York.
Soon after Solís won an April 6 runoff election in Costa Rica, the microchip giant Intel announced the closing of its manufacturing facility here, which employed some 1,500 people. Intel said it would maintain its design and engineering facility in Heredia, north of the capital.
“I hope that these meetings can give me a more complete understanding of the decision [to leave Costa Rica] and any future activities this company could have in this country,” Solís said Tuesday during his weekly press conference at Casa Presidencial, in southeastern San José.
CINDE, a private organization dedicated to attracting foreign investment to Costa Rica and organizing the president’s U.S. trip, told The Tico Times that it could not yet confirm the meeting in Palo Alto, but that the schedule was still being finalized.
Solís added that CINDE and the Foreign Trade Ministry were in talks with Intel to explore other opportunities for the company to expand its presence in Costa Rica.
Intel’s manufacturing facility accounted for nearly 20 percent of Costa Rica’s exports in 2013.
CINDE said the Costa Rican delegation had a confirmed meeting with Hewlett Packard among other U.S. companies in life science, manufacturing and corporate services while in New York.
Solís then will travel briefly to Washington, D.C., to attend a business event at the Organization of American States. The president said it is unlikely he would meet with U.S. President Barack Obama, but he didn’t rule out the possibility.
The president will return to Costa Rica on Friday, June 13.