SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Chipmaker Intel announced Tuesday that it is eliminating 1,500 jobs from its assembly and test operation in Costa Rica, a blow to a country that has used Intel’s presence to build a high-tech sector.
Intel said in a news release it will keep employing more than 1,200 engineers, finance and human resources employees in the Central American country.
The company said that relocating its assembly and test operation to Asia is part of a strategy announced earlier this year by Intel to stress “geographic closeness between plants and main markets.”
Intel has been struggling with the negative effect of weak personal computer sales worldwide.
Anabel Gonzalez, Costa Rica’s minister of foreign trade, said Intel’s decision was unfortunate but that the country will continue to work on attracting high-tech companies.
“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.”