Costa Rica - Economic sectors

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The Costa Rican economy is concentrated in the service sector, with 60.5 percent of its 1998 GDP represented in this category. The main service activity in the

country is tourism, with over 1 million visitors in 1999. Industry is the second most important sector, representing 24 percent of GDP in 1998, followed by agriculture, which represents 15.2 percent of GDP.

The amount that industry contributes to GDP in Costa Rica is average for Latin America but is low when compared to that of East Asia (44 percent of GDP), the Arab nations (40 percent of GDP), and Eastern Europe (35 percent). However, it has become an area of aggressive growth through government stimulus. Efforts to build a high technology park through foreign direct investment have attracted firms like Intel Corporation, Baxter Medical, Microsoft, Abbot Laboratories, Conair, and Alcoa.

Government policies have attempted to reduce dependence on agriculture as a source of employment, production, and foreign exchange revenue. This has reduced the relevance of agriculture from close to 40 percent of GDP in the 1950s to its current 15.2 percent level. However, it still employs about 20 percent of the labor force .

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