Costa Rica’s technology sector appears to be back on track with U.S. technology firms VMware and Intel unveiling plans to expand in the country and generate hundreds of new jobs.
Cloud software maker VMware is talking of adding up to 400 employees over the coming months, while Intel is setting up a large laboratory to test technology products.
The news comes as Costa Rica’s newly elected President Luis Guillermo Solis is touring the United States to entice technology investors back into his country.
VMware, which currently has about a dozen employees working in Costa Rica, will hire about 200 people this year and another 150 people by the end of 2015.
Intel, according to President Solis, will hire about 350 people for its lab, which will work in coordination with the company’s Shared Services center and the Center for Engineering and Design.
The chipmaker, struggling with a shrinking personal computer market, jolted the Costa Rican government earlier this year when it confirmed that it was eliminating 1,500 jobs and shifting a large part of manufacturing unit to low-cost locations in Asia. Labor market concerns then intensified when the Bank of America said it was closing its technological and operational support center in San Jose.
Solis is looking to place inward-investment high on his political agenda as he enters his first term. It is also expected he will begin to look to rally other Central American countries into a framework for more economic integration, in part by re-vitalizing the DR-CAFTA free trade agreement.
On his tour across Silicon Valley, Solis has met several business delegates from technology firms including IBM, Intel, Abbott and Hospira and HP, according to Costa Rican newspapers. Having left for New York on Tuesday, Solis is also likely to meet HP’s top management in Washington, D.C. later this week.