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Costa Rica Scores Two More High Tech Operations

By W. David Gardner,

May 06, 2005

Costa Rica's efforts to gain traction as an outsourcing destination increased with announcement by Intel and Trax Holdings that they will establish new operations in the Central American country.

Intel, which already operates a major facility in Costa Rica, said it will fill 100 new accounting professional positions for a new financial services center it will open next year. In an e-mail this week, an Intel spokesman said the operation will provide financial services for the corporation while overall accounting control and policy management will remain in the U.S.

The U.S. semiconductor manufacturer already operates a major facility near the capital city of San Jose. The manufacturing and distribution operation involves the assembly, testing, and distribution of Intel Pentium, Celeron, and Xeon processors. In addition, the firm has component design and software development operations in Costa Rica.

Intel said it chose to locate the new financial services center in Costa Rica for different reasons including U.S.-Costa Rican time zone compatibility as well as Costa Rica's competitive cost structure. In addition, Intel cited Costa Rica's "demonstrated accounting quality and controls." The establishment of the services operation is subject to review by Costa Rican government officials.

Intel said initial positions will be filled in the current quarter with training scheduled to take place in the second half of the year before the financial services operation is inaugurated next year.

The Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) cited the country's literate and well-educated and its relatively advanced high tech infrastructure as contributing factors in the decisions of companies who choose the country of four million as a place of operations.

As for Trax Holdings, CINDE said the services firm plans to hire some 50 employees to carry out work in software testing and data entry. CINDE said the new Trax operation will help the firm support clients such as Apple Computer, EMC Corp., CompUSA, Chevron Texaco, and Ford Motor Company.

In recent months, Costa Rican business and government operations have been working to attract outsourcing business from the U.S. and other industrialized nations. Hewlett-Packard, for instance, has located a major offshore outsourcing operation in San Jose where it provides major outsourcing services for Proctor & Gamble.

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