ISSN: 1659-2751



Evaluation of the Competitiveness of the Swine and Beef Production Sectors in Costa Rica and the Impact of the Free Trade Agreement on these Sectors


The incorporation ofCosta Ricain CAFTA has raised concerns and uncertainty in the swine and beef production sectors, as these activities are fundamental to the economy of this country. For the year 2003 the swine industry contributed 1.9 % of GDP derived from agriculture, while beef cattle industry contributed 6 %. For this reason, an evaluation of the business climate in these industries was conducted using the Michael Porter Diamond Model for the Competitive Advantage of Nations. The objective was to evaluate the competitiveness of Costa Rican swine and beef cattle industries and study the impact that CAFTA has on them. After analyzing the data, it was determined that Costa Rica has excellent conditions for pork and beef production, but the country has deficiencies in infrastructure, transportation routes and technology transfer. In addition, there are limited loans for the livestock industry. It was observed that the Costa Rican consumers do not demand high quality and standards for their meat products. As well, there is no rivalry between the producers so constant improvement of products, and competitiveness between them, is not promoted. In order to improve the country’s industrial competitiveness, product differentiation is necessary in the chain of production and value added to the meat products must be improved.

Key words: CAFTA, market conditions, competitiveness, Diamond Model for Competitiveness, differentiation, pork industry, beef industry, value added.

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