40. Costa Rica

40.1. SMEs in the national economy

In Costa Rica, SMEs account for 93.4% of all enterprises (OECD, 2017[1]). Among SMEs, 67% classify as micro firms, 25% as small enterprises and 8% as medium enterprises (MEIC, 2017[2]). SMEs in Costa Rica employ 220 483 people, which accounts for 31.2% of all jobs in the business sector (OECD, 2017[1]). Non-agricultural SMEs are mainly active in services (43%) and commerce (41%), and are unevenly distributed across the country with 74% located centrally (OECD, 2017[1]; MEIC, 2017[2]).

40.2. National policy framework to support SMEs in public procurement

The objective of supporting SMEs in the government procurement market is provided in article 20 of Law No. 8262, the Law on Strengthening Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

In accordance with article 20 the Public Administration will develop, in co-ordination with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (MEIC), a program that ensures the minimum participation of the SMEs in government procurement for each institution or dependency.

40.3. Implementation mechanisms

In specific processes and as part of an institutional strategy, talks and trainings are given to officials of public institutions on SME legislation and tools to encourage their participation in the government procurement market.

40.4. Monitoring performance

For companies to be classified as SMEs, MEIC carries out an official qualification of the SME-status n accordance with article 3 of Law 8262. Verification by the procuring institution is done on line or through physical certification issued by the government entity and delivered by the employer.


[2] MEIC (2017), Estado de situación de las PYME en Costa Rica, http://reventazon.meic.go.cr/informacion/pyme/2017/informe.pdf (accessed on 28 June 2018).

[1] OECD (2017), OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy: Costa Rica 2017, OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264271654-en.

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