In an Insecure World, Americans Should Look South

Eric Farnsworth


Costa Rica has developed a semiconductor investment and manufacturing roadmap to position itself as a leader in memory chip manufacturing and distribution.

Semiconductor Manufacturing in Costa Rica

Published in Barron’s June 18, 2024
By Eric Farnsworth, Krach Institute Advisory Council, and vice president of the Americas Society/Council of the Americas.

Americans don’t normally think of artificial intelligence and other sophisticated technologies when they think of Latin America, but, increasingly, they should. Today, Costa Rica’s top export is not banana chips but computer chips. The Dominican Republic, famous for its white sand beaches, is becoming a hub for biotechnology manufacturing. Brazil, the land of samba and soccer, is a world leader in fintech, with a web-based start-up having become its largest bank. Stable, middle-class Uruguay is breaking technology investment records.

According to Farnsworth, “I was in San Jose for the launch of the semiconductor strategy in March. Investors from Asia and elsewhere—not just the U.S.—showed impressive interest. They were seeking commercial opportunities, and pursuing alternatives to the vulnerabilities in existing supply chains. I was also impressed by the government’s recognition that human capital is even more important than investment capital if the strategy is to succeed. The announcement of a robust technology-workforce training and education partnership with Purdue University should, over time, help narrow the gap in Costa Rica and elsewhere in the Americas.”

Read the full article here.

Learn more about semiconductors at the Krach Institute’s Tech Diplomacy Academy