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April 9, 2014

Intel to close Costa Rica chip plant, lay off 1500 employees

Costa Rica’s assembly and testing operations will be consolidated into three Asian plants in Malaysia, Vietnam and China.

By CBR Staff Writer

Struggling US chipmaker Intel is shutting its microchip assembly and testing facility in Costa Rica over the following six months, affecting 1,500 jobs.

As part of its global strategy to cut costs to grow beyond PCs into the mobile market, the latest move involves consolidating assembly and testing operations from Costa Rica to three Asian plants in Malaysia, Vietnam and China.

Costa Rica Minister of Foreign Trade Anabel Gonzalez said that the chipmaker’s decision to transfer its assembly and test operations to a region closer to its main geographical markets is unfortunate.

"Intel helped Costa Rica position its name in the world of foreign direct investment and high technology," Gonzalez said.

"Today, more than 15 years later, Costa Rica is a leader in different industries, and has become a highly competitive location for high-tech manufacturing, services and, more recently, research and development activities."

However, Intel Engineering and Design Center and the Global Services Center would still remain operational in Costa Rica, which will continue to employ about 1,000 engineers and other employees.

In January 2014, the chipmaker considered slashing its global workforce by about 5% this year from its overall 107,600 workers.
Between September 2013 and March 2014, the chipmaker slashed 1,800 employees at its sites in Oregon, Massachusetts, Arizona and Malaysia, while also decommissioned its research and development centre in Barcelona last March.

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