The Republic of Costa Rica is a small country in Central America, between Panama and Nicaragua. The country has a total territory of 51.100 square kilometers as well as six major volcanoes; two active and four inactive. Currently, the country is divided into seven provinces: four along the central valley, one along the Caribbean, and two along the Pacific. On April 1, the country will hold the second round of its presidential election for the 2018-2022 period. The election will head off Carlos Alvarado Quesada from the ruling PAC Party against Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz from the conservative National Renovation Party.

Trade and Economics in Costa Rica during 2018

In economic terms, Costa Rica has a GDP per capita of approximately US$17.000 and the national economy has grown at around 4.0% in recent years. Meanwhile, the median age in the country is 31 years old. Costa Rica’s overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is US$85 billion (in terms of purchasing power parity, PPP), which is divided into 6% agriculture, 21% manufacturing, and 73% services. Similarly, it is estimated that the agricultural industry employs 14% of the national labor force, while manufacturing employs 22% and services employ another 64%. Furthermore, in Costa Rica, the agriculture industry utilizes 37% of the national territory, while another 52% is forested.

In terms of trade, during 2016, Costa Rica imported some US$14.7 billion worth of goods and exported about US$9.9 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of US$4.83 billion. That year, Costa Rica’s main export, representing 20% or almost US$2 billion of the country’s total, were medical instruments. Likewise, the country’s main import in 2016, representing 7.4% or US$1.1 billion of all international purchases, was refined petroleum. Additionally, Costa Rica’s main trading partners are the United States, Mexico, China, the European Union, and Panama. When it comes to agricultural products, most of Costa Rica’s staple exports, such as bananas and coffee, are exported in maritime transport through industry giants such as Maersk, Hamburg Süd, Seatrade, Marfret, CMA CGM, OPDR, and Cosiarma.

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Unfortunately, in Costa Rica, approximately 300.000 people suffer from undernourishment. Similarly, in recent years, the average per capita protein intake of animal origin amongst the Costa Rican population has been some 39 grams daily. Simultaneously, land distribution and output in Costa Rica has evolved throughout the last half century. Back in 1961, arable land in the country covered 285.000 hectares, while permanent pastures and meadows represented 915.000 hectares and permanent crops accounted for 195.000 hectares. More recently, by 2015, arable land had decreased to 232.000 hectares, while permanent pastures and meadows represented 1.3 million hectares and permanent crops covered 314.000 hectares.

Meanwhile, in 1961, Costa Rica devoted 103.000 hectares of land to the production of cereals and produced 119.000 metric tons annually. More recently, in 2015, the country devoted little over 53.000 hectares of land to cereals production and yielded about 213.500 metric tons.

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