Costa Rica is an agricultural country, although tourism and industry are being developed at a moderate pace. Industries include food processing and the manufacture of electronic components, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, and plastics. Bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, sugar, and beef are exported, as well as manufactured goods such as textiles, electronics, and medical equipment. Raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, and petroleum are imported. The United States is the largest trading partner.
The country is governed under the 1949 constitution. The president, who is both the chief of state and head of government, is elected to a single four-year term. Members of the unicameral 57-seat Legislative Assembly are also elected for four years. Administratively, the country is divided into seven provinces.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.