Introduction marred the country’s democratic development: in 1917-19,


Costa Rica’s capital city is San Jose, the
country is well known for its beaches, volcanos, and the abundance of wildlife
that inhabits the area. Costa Rica is a country that is bordered on two sides
by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea and is considered rugged and covered
with mostly rainforests in Central America. Costa Rica is a big hotspot for

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 “The early history and
human habitation of Costa Rica goes back more than 10,000 years, however,
research suggests that the area had been sparsely populated and not a key locus
during the pre-Columbian era. Indeed, there is little evidence suggesting that
major civilizations inhabited the area and the stone architecture typically
found in areas inhabited by the civilizations of Mesoamerica from Central to
South America have not been found. In fact, the only main archaeological site
in Costa Rica is at Guayabo. There, the signs of an ancient city, dating back
to about 1000 B.C.E. has been recorded. Guayabo was believed to have been home
to about 10,000 people. Excavations at this site are ongoing and have garnered
artifacts of gold and jade, as well as some potteryentiful country for its
countryman.” (Coleman 2013)

Political Environment

Rica has a government that we here in the United States are familiar with. They
have a national president and a legislative that assists with decisions in
regards to their country that they hold elections for every four years. They
have multiple parties throughout their countries legislative. There are three
main political parties, the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC), which is a
Christian Democratic Party with their colors being blue and red, The National
Liberation Party (PLN) is a social democratic party and their colors are green
and white and they have won 7 of the last 12 elections, and the Citizen Action
Party (PAC) which is a mild reformist party whose colors are red and
yellow.  (Costa Rica 2015) 

 “In 1821, Costa Rica became one of several
Central American provinces that jointly declared their independence from Spain.
Two years later it joined the United Provinces of Central America, but this
federation disintegrated in 1838, at which time Costa Rica proclaimed its
sovereignty and independence. Since the late 19th century, only two brief
periods of violence have marred the country’s democratic development: in
1917-19, Federico Tinoco ruled as a dictator, and in 1948 Jose Figures led an
armed uprising in the wake of a disputed presidential election. Costa Rica has
a market economy supported by one of the most peaceful and stable democracies
in Latin America. Its economy is based on tourism, agriculture and electronics
exports. Its citizens enjoy one of the highest life expectancy levels in the
Western hemisphere and better living standards than the country’s neighbors,
Nicaragua and Panama” (Costa Rica 2015)


            Costa Rica has an executive branch, which is made up of a
President of the Republic, which is elected every four years, won by popular
vote and is the Chief of State and the head of the government. There are two vice
presidents and twenty members of the cabinet, which the president appoints
himself. Their legislature has six permanent commissions that are tasked with
evaluation of proposed laws, and determining what happens with those laws.

Costa Rican Supreme Court is divided into four Chambers. Chamber I (Sala
Primera) which is presided over by seven magistrates and has jurisdiction
over all civil and administrative matters. Chamber II (Sala Segunda) is
presided over by five magistrates and has appellate jurisdiction over civil
matters including family law, estates and labor law.  Chamber III (Sala
Tercera) is presided over by five magistrates and overhears only criminal
appeals.  Chamber IV (Sala Cuarta) has exclusive jurisdiction over
all constitutional matters. (Petersen 2010)

Economic Environment

Rica has a stable economy that flourishes from tourism, agriculture and
electronics exports.  They also depend
greatly on their exports of coffee, banana and beef. During the 1990s, Costa
Rica’s development program focused on integrating national industries with the
world markets and promoting the flow of foreign private investment into the
country. In recent years, Costa Rica has successfully attracted important
investments in its electronics industry. Costa Rica enjoyed robust economic
growth from 2003 to 2007, underpinned by strong global expansion, sound
economic policies, and strong business and consumer confidence. But economic
growth slowed sharply in 2008 and turned negative in 2009, reflecting weakening
activity in the construction, manufacturing, and tourism industries as a result
of the global economic crisis. (Costa Rica Review 2015)

            A large help to the growth of the Central America country
was the US-Central America-Dominican Republic Free trade Agreement
(CAFTA-DR).  The agreement was expected
to lead to increased foreign direct investment in key sectors of the economy,
including the insurance and telecommunications sectors recently opened to
private investors Economic activity began to pick up in mid-2009 as the
government provided significant support to domestic demand, and the banking sector
remained sound. Real GDP was expected to grow again in 2011, supported by the
global economic recovery and strong inflows of foreign direct investment in
telecommunications and outsourcing. FDI was expected to reach $2.2 billion in
2011, up more than 40 percent from 2010, in part due to spending by
telecommunication firms after the government opened up the mobile phone sector
to private competition. (Costa Rica Review 2015)


From 1987
until late 2006 Costa Rica’s Central Bank (BCCR) adopted a crawling peg
exchange rate regime. The stated goal was to provide exchange rate certainty to
the external sectors of the economy (exports, tourism). During this period of
nearly two decades the country experienced a high inflation rate which averaged
14.9 percent a year. A significant factor contributing to high inflation in the
late 1980s and the 1990s was the fact that the Central Bank monetized the huge
debts it inherited from the loss-making state-owned enterprises that were
liquidated in the early 1980s.  (Hildago


While the
Costa Rican government offers tax and regulatory incentives to multinational
companies, it stifles local businesses with high taxes and crippling
regulations. Costa Rica ranks 102nd (out of 189 economies) in the World Bank’s Doing
Business report,
which measures the costs of business regulations and taxes across national
economies. The total tax rate (including labor, income, and other taxes)
amounts to 55.3 percent of an average local business’s profit, compared to the
still high 47.3 percent average in Latin America and 41.3 percent in the Organization
for Economic Co-operation and Development. (Hildalgo 2014)

The top
products that are exported by Costa Rica are office machine parts, integrated
circuits, medical instruments, tropical fruit 
and bananas.  While the top
imports are refined petroleum, , printed circuit boards, integrated circuits,
packaged medicaments and cars.


Ricans ultimately seek “Pure Life” or Pura Vida, by living through their daily
actions.  Costa Rica, with a small Indian
population, and has been strongly influenced by the culture and traditions of
Spain. Indian and Afro-American influences have had relatively little impact. Costa
Ricans have taken from the Roman Catholic cultural pattern of Spain, creating an
emphasis on the family and the church, which has developed into a national life

and Opportunities

Vida has been a way of life for many years in Costa Rica. Yet in recent years it
has seen a rapid growth of commercialism and tourism causing some of its, all
residents to have the feeling of “pure life”. Wal-Mart is one company that is threatening
that way of life. “Walmart now has managed to take control of over 50% of the
mega-shopping centers in Costa Rica and announced it is starting to go green.”
(Admin 2009)

Costa Rica has seen a massive growth
in American tourism, which has led many American Business to take over and dominate
the country, just like Walmart has done. In 2005 Walmart became known as, Walmart
de Mexico y Centroamerica and has been operating as Mas x Menos, Maxi Pali,
Walmart Supercenter and Pali all across Costa Rica. Walmart has become the go
to store in Costa Rica causing may locally owned businesses to suffer. Yet with
all the negatives there is some positives for the economy by creating a multitude
of new jobs. “Back in Feb, 2007 U.S. retail mega-giant Wal-Mart Stores
Inc., the world’s largest retailer, said they would spend $49 million to open 14
new stores in Costa Rica and all within a year. The business hype was simple,
it would create 1000s of new jobs, keep the government happy with additional
tax revenue, keep prices down, and provide Costa Ricans with some of the US
luxuries (like electronics) that otherwise they could not get at fair and
reasonable prices.” (Admin 2009).

Costa Rica is as a very health
conscious country.  Living the Pura Vida
lifestyle in Costa Rica is necessity and with that creating a gentle and calm
way to receive the proper amount of sleep is a great market to reach the people
of Costa Rica.  This is evident due to a
study being conducting in Costa Rica in the recent years.  The study, “involving more than 500 members
of 26 families from Costa Rica and Colombia, identified because they each
include many individuals with severe bipolar disorder, is the first large-scale
delineation of sleep and activity traits in BP-affected individuals and their
relatives and the first genetic investigation of such a comprehensive set of
sleep and circadian measures in any human study.” (Lopez 2016)  The study of sleep and aiding it would be a
company to introduce into the Costa Rican business environment. GE Healthcare sleep
aid gives clients a device that is to be worn around the neck or wrist to help
induce sleep and help with sleep deprivation instead of using harmful drugs
that create multiple side effects and habit form conditions. This sleep aid
would be both affordable and effective and GE will make all efforts to have it covered
by most insurance companies. Another benefit to introducing this one product
into the market would be that GE would then have a lead in for any other new
and advancing medical devices that are created in the future.

            When introducing this product into the market I see GE Healthcare
as creating a special promotion for the new product, generating a buzz about
the product. It they were to use special pricing and actually get the product in
the hands of the users they would be able to create a word of mouth push for
the need of this product.












Admin. May 13, 2009. Tico
Times. Wal-Mart – Costa Rica Monopoly Going Green. Retrieved from

Ahlstrom, D. & Bruton, G. (2010). International management: Strategy and culture in the
emerging world. Mason, OH:
South-Western Cengage Learning.

Coleman, D. Y. (2013).
History. Costa Rica Country Review, 7-8.

Costa Rica.
(2015). Political Risk Yearbook: Costa Rica Country Report, 2-14.

Costa Rica Review (2015)

J. C. January 23, 2014. CATO institute. Growth
with Poverty Reduction: the Case of Costa Rica.

J. January 2, 2016. Costa Rica Joined Sleep and Bipolar Disorder Research Study
retrieved from

Petersen, R. A. 2010.
Hauser Global law Law Program. Update: A
Guide to legal Research in Costa Rica. Retrieved from