In a major blow to the economy of the Costa Rica, tech giant Intel said it is closing its microprocessor assembly plant there, a move that means 1,500 workers will lose their jobs.
“After extensive analysis, the company concluded the best long-term solution to maximize operational efficiency at the global level was to close its assembly and testing plant,” Intel said in a statement in Spanish.
This was a “difficult decision” because the firm has maintained a close relationship with the Costa Rican community and government, Intel said, adding that it will gradually reduce the plant’s activities until it is closed at the end of 2014.
The closure means that 1,500 workers will be fired, and the firm had communicated its decision to them earlier and promised that they will have the “necessary support” in their efforts to make the transition and reinsert themselves into the labor force, the company said.
The tech giant said that in Costa Rica it will maintain its Global Services Center and the Development and Engineering Center, where about 1,000 people now work and where the firm says it will hire 200 more this year.
Intel has been operating in Costa Rica since 1997 and has established itself as one of the country’s main sources of investment and the largest export firm, shipping products worth some $2 billion annually, about 20 percent of the Central American nation’s total exports.
The firm had invested a total of $900 million in Costa Rica up through the end of 2012, an amount equivalent to 6 percent of the direct foreign investment in the country over the past 15 years.