Necessary to Consider the Business Climate
A poll taken by The Economist Magazine published in Great Britain in September 2002 asked top executives of important multinational companies living abroad their opinion on which was the best foreign city to work and live in. Tied, sharing the honour of being the two most desirable cities in Latin America, were San José, Costa Rica, and San Juan Puerto Rico.
Main reasons for choosing these two cities were: proximity to the United States by air, ample availability of flights, political, social and economic stability, great variety of good schools for their children, easy access to hospitals, top quality medical care, and nearness to tourist destinations such as mountain and beach resorts.
The results of the above poll are very gratifying and certainly the successful executives that were inquired took into consideration that doing business in Costa Rica is somewhat different from doing it in the United States or in most of the European countries. That's because of the nature of the economic environment and the more general institutional setting within which business activities take place. Several factors, which are largely beyond the control of the individual enterprises, have a vital bearing upon the smooth functioning of the business. They require that effective management techniques be adapted as required to the specific conditions of the area.
The following are some aspects of the business environment which an enterprise must take into consideration and deal with in Costa Rica. This is true for most of the rest of Latin America.
Support facilities are not always available
If you have a technical or management problem it's not easy to find someone who can help solve it. Good technicians and advisors are not always available when you need them. If you have a manufacturing facility and quickly need a particular spare part to keep your machines running, sometimes it's impossible to find it locally. So you must search abroad for it and lose precious time. In past years I saw rice crops on the verge of being lost because a harvesting machine needed a spare part and the dealer in San Jose didn't have it in stock.