Within two years, the new IBM center is expected to employ as many as 1,000 Costa Ricans to help IBM expand business opportunities in the fast-growing Central American country.
President Laura Chinchilla told guests at the opening of the center in San Jose on Thursday, This partnership between IBM and Costa Rica , as we engage in this adventure towards a more more moern and technologial world, is essential to our country.
The Costa Rica push is the latest into Latin America for Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM which already this year announced major new investments in Brazil and Peru.
Last month, IBM won a $1 billion contract to provide technology services for 10 years to companies owned by tycoon Eike Batista. Besides acquiring a stake in a subsidiary of his EBX Group, which has interests throughout Latin America, IBM established a research center in Rio de Janeiro to employ as many as 100 and won a contract from that city, host of the 2016 Summer Olympics, for its Smarter Cities initiative.
In Peru, Banco de Credito del Peru gave IBM a five-year $100 million outsourcing contract. IBM said it will spend $8 million by the end of 2012 to build a data center in Peru.
The company said it's invested more than $500 million in data centers in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and Uruguay.
In 2011, 42 percent of the company's record $106.9 billion revenue came from the Americas, including Latin America. That segment rose 7.3 percent. From Latin American growth markets, the company said revenue rose nearly 17 percent.
Shares of IBM fell 63 cents to $200.60 in Thursday trading.