May 02--Canadian company Gildan Activewear confirmed Friday morning in Montreal, Canada, that their next major investment will be the construction of a textile manufacturing plant in Costa Rica's northwestern province of Guanacaste.
During a second quarter report to shareholders, company representatives said they chose Costa Rica based on its strategic location near Gildan plants in Nicaragua, its access to ports both on the Pacific and the Caribbean coasts, and the ease of accessing markets in the United States via CAFTA. Benefits from Costa Rica's free zone regime also were determining factors.
Gildan's decision followed several months of negotiations between the company and the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE).
Total investment and an exact date for the start of construction were not disclosed, but the new Guanacaste facilities will create 1,000 new jobs for the province, CINDE said.
CINDE General Director Gabriela Llobet said Gildan's operation here "will allow Costa Rica to join the global value chain of the textile sector in a very sophisticated segment."
Company representatives earlier this week met with President-elect Luis Guillermo Solis at an event with leaders of 150 foreign companies with presence in the country. At the meeting, Solis said he would travel to the U.S. to court investors.
Gildan Activewear distributes products in the U.S. and Canada and is one of the largest suppliers of T-shirts, socks and underwear. In 2013, the company reported sales of $2.2 billion and 69 percent growth over 2009.
The company employs 33,000 workers at facilities in the United States, Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.
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