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Costa Rica’s exports grow to record level despite pandemic

Costa Rica’s exports grew 2% in 2020 compared to the previous year, despite the limitations imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the government reported Thursday.

The Central American country sold $11.68 billion abroad last year, a record figure, thanks to the diversification of products and markets that allowed it to overcome the difficulties of the pandemic, the Foreign Trade Ministry said in a statement.

“Despite the pandemic, the closure of borders and other barriers, the export sector demonstrated a high capacity for resilience, reinforced by good practices in topics such as diversification of destinations, customers, means of transport and innovation in sales channels,” commented the Minister of Foreign Trade, Andrés Valenciano.

The dynamism of Costa Rican exporters was marked by four sectors, especially precision and medical equipment, with a growth of 8%.

The other sectors that grew the most are the food industry (7%) and pharmaceutical chemicals (14%), as well as agriculture, with a 2% expansion, according to the Foreign Trade Ministry.

The export sector represents 34% of the Costa Rican GDP and employs more than 1 million people, according to official figures.

The dynamism of the export sector made it possible to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic, which led to a projected fall of 4.5% in GDP in 2020.

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