We have explained before why we think nearshore agile is a good idea, but why choose Costa Rica over other Latin American countries? They all have convenient time zones for collaboration with US companies, labor costs are lower than they are in the US, and most of them have beautiful locales that would make for a nice company trip. However, what they don’t all have is a history of successful IT business collaboration with the US, long lasting political stability, and high quality universities to educate high-skilled workers.
The history of Costa Rica’s Nearshoring industry began with Intel in 1996. The company chose to invest $300 million in a new semi-conductor plant, with the conditional requirement that Costa Rica modernize its business regulations. The government quickly responded to the request, and the legislation paved the way for many other companies to start moving some of their business into the country. Costa Rica has not just rested on its laurels; to this day America remains Costa Rica’s primary trade partner in exports and imports. And for Costa Rica was rated the best in Central America and the Caribbean for foreign direct investment by fDiIntelligence for 2011/2012. These things alone are pretty impressive, but they might not have been possible without the amazing political stability of the country.
Costa Rica has had a working democratic system since 1889 (one of the 22 oldest democracies in the world), and no standing military since 1949. While many other Latin American countries were going through political turmoil, Costa Rica remained stable. Their president Oscar Arias Sanchez even received a nobel prize for helping the neighboring country of Nicaragua end a civil war in 1987. Now that more of the latin american region has become stable Costa Rica has ambitiously set new goals, such as their promise to be the first latin american carbon neutral country by 2021. Another less ambitious goal of the Costa Rican government is the maintenance of a good education system.
High-skilled Intelligent workers
Costa Rica is constitutionally required to spend at least 6% of GDP on education, but the commitment goes deeper than just money. The country’s political and economic success is based on an educated populace. A temporary military coup in 1948 ended peacefully and positively for democracy thanks to a group of intellectuals ceding power. They have a 95% literacy rate that is one of the highest among Latin American countries. For higher education there are five public and thirteen private universities, including a university geared specifically towards the fields of computer science and engineering. As a company that uses Agile methods, we need the high level of skill and competence that comes with a good education system.
A high-skilled workforce, political stability, and a business friendly environment have made Costa Rica an excellent location for our nearshore development team. These are all great reasons that your company should nearshore development in Costa Rica, but it’s still easier to partner with an established business. Contact us at 434.996.5226 or Arin@AgilityFeat.com in order to discuss how we can help you set up a great agile software development operation in Costa Rica