During the first quarter of this year, foreign investment totaled $483 million, compared to $925 million during the same period in 2013.
The decline was attributed mainly to a decrease in commercial and residential real estate investment. The real estate sector reached a record $377 million during the first quarter of last year, but totaled just $218 million in the first quarter of this year, a decline of 42%.
The Costa Rican Coalition for Development Initiatives (CINDE), said last year was exceptional in terms of real estate investment, and the decline this year is not necessarily part of a trend.
“The difference in quarterly [foreign direct investment] is largely a result of a decline in the real estate sector. This does not necessarily represent a trend, since this type of investment is subject to business cycles,” said Gabriela Llobet, CINDE director general.
Real estate is not the only sector that has seen a drop in FDI. Companies operating in the country’s free trade zones saw 20% less investment than during the same period last year.
Investors from the United States accounted for 44% of FDI during the first quarter of this year, followed by Spain, which accounted for 14.5%.