Investment Promotion – A Key Aspect in Leveraging the FTA with the US
PROCOLOMBIA’s strategy to leverage the Free Trade Agreement with the US includes as a key aspect the release of opportunities offered by Colombia as an investment destination, so that American companies can settle there and consider the country as a platform to reach other markets.
“After the FTA with the United States came into effect, we and other 23 companies are supporting the US during its process of exploring investment opportunities. The agreement has attracted companies that now see Colombia under a different light, as a fair, modern and a safe country where the public now is beginning to find new opportunities”, stated President of PROCOLOMBIA, Maria Claudia Lacouture.
According to PROCOLOMBIA, investor companies belong to the manufacturing, automotive, agribusiness, tourism infrastructure, renewable energy, and BPO sectors.
This May 15th, 60 companies contemplating Colombia within their business plans ranging from the services, manufacturing, logistics, infrastructure, and agribusiness sectors, attended an investment conference in Miami organized by PROCOLOMBIA with the purpose of learning about the available opportunities in all regions.
The topics included the current alternatives to consider Colombia as an exporting platform and enjoy the tax and logistic benefits offered by this country in order to enter the American market, with over 300 million inhabitants and an estimated per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $48,200 USD.
During the presentation facilitated by John Price, Director of Americas Market Intelligence, Yrene Tamayo, Director and Executive Vice-President of Brilla Group, and Esteban Reyes, CEO of VSI Nearshoring Solutions, talked about their companies’ success stories after the investments carried out in Colombia with the advice and support of PROCOLOMBIA to offer customer services all over the world.
In addition, Edgar J. Asebey-Birkholm, Business Partner and Director of Regulatory Affairs of Roetzel & Andress, one of the most important law firms in South Florida, highlighted the opportunities offered by the FTA.
“Latin American economies are currently acknowledged to be growing faster than the US. A properly directed investment in Colombia yields return rates that are simply unavailable in America. In this country, the private sector shows steady growth rates and its productivity is improving. Stability in Colombia makes it an attractive destination for foreign investment”, claimed Edgar J. Asebey-Birkholm.
All 15 representatives from the regional promotion agencies and free trade zones like Bogota, Barranquilla, Boyaca, Cartagena, Cali, Cauca, and Pereira met with the American companies to explore investment alternatives.
The Biggest Partner
According to the Central Bank of Colombia’s Balance of Payments, between 2000 and 2012, the US Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) accrued sum in Colombia reached $10.066 billion USD, accounting for 23.3% of the investment total, and the US is the main issuer of foreign capital towards Colombia.
According to FDI Markets, Colombia is the fourth recipient country, with 209 greenfield projects from the US. Investments including the following sectors: Software & IT services (12.9), BPO (10.5%), foods and tobacco (8.5%), communications (6%), financial services (4.7%), among others.