FEATURE: Latin American Medtech Manufacturing
in their own backyard.
The spot, ironically, was one with which Command Medical
President/CEO David Slick was already familiar. For the last dozen
years or so, Slick’s son Benjamin has been operating a plant in Managua that specializes in cabinetry and molded kitchen countertops
and sinks.“Over that period, he [Slick] saw his son’s business grow
and prosper,” a company official told Medical Product Outsourcing.
In all likelihood, the Slicks’success can partly be attributed to
the generous incentives Nicaragua offers to foreign companies
that make long-term domestic investments. Firms that base their
operations within the country’s eight Free Trade Zones (FTZs), for
example, are exempt from paying income tax for 10 years.
In addition, Foreign Investment Promotion Law 344 estab-lishes equal treatment to foreign and domestic investment. It also
eliminates restrictions in which foreign capital can enter the country, and recognizes the right of foreign investors to transfer profits
to any foreign location.
Costa Rica: A Harmonious Blend of
OEMs and Suppliers
Similar incentives exist across the border in Costa Rica, where FTZ
companies are income-tax exempt for eight years (and thereafter
subjected to a reduced rate). These zones—areas where goods are
handled, manufactured or reconfigured, and exported without in-
tervention by customs officials—also provide businesses with sim-
plified investment, trade and customs procedures, which in turn,
helps companies avoid the country’s burdensome commercial li-
censing process. More than 270 companies have taken advantage of
Costa Rica’s FTZ program over the last three decades, according to
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