These are the reasons that attract investors to Valle del Cauca
Article by: Invest Pacific
- Four foreign businessmen shared the competitive advantages they have found in Valle del Cauca, in Colombia’s Pacific region.
- Since its inception, the regional investment promotion agency Invest Pacific has supported 97 investment projects in Valle del Cauca with an amount exceeding USD $926 million, creating nearly ten thousand jobs.
- Valle del Cauca is one of the ten regions with the best investment attraction strategy in Latin America and Colombia, as highlighted in 2018 in the Financial Times FDI Intelligence ranking.
During the first quarter of 2019, the panel “Internationalization, the focus of Valle del Cauca,” was carried out within the framework of Expo Region, an event promoted by the Valle del Cauca government. Its purpose was to provide a space for dialogue around the region´s value proposition, which has favored the arrival of recognized foreign companies, in order to generate opportunities for employment, development, and sophistication of the productive apparatus.
The panel—moderated by Alejandro Ossa, Executive Director of Invest Pacific—featured four foreign investors from Uruguay, Peru, the Netherlands, and China, whose companies decided to set up operations in the region with the support of Invest Pacific, the investment promotion agency in Colombia’s Pacific region. During the panel, they shared their experience and highlighted the reasons that led them to invest in the region.
Among the investors’ highlighted reasons are: geostrategic location, solid infrastructure and connectivity, qualified human talent, competitive costs, quality of life, and the region’s services. Also noted were the institutional management and support, from both the public and private sectors, during their establishment and growth.
Jaime Miller, General Manager of Zonamerica, the first and only free trade zone for services in Colombia—an investment made with Uruguayan capital—highlighted the very competitive costs, abundance of human talent, and wide cultural offer of Valle de Cauca’s capital. "We found qualified people there; of all the cities that we visited in Colombia, Cali most caught our attention. In addition, the institutional support of the governor, mayor, Invest Pacific, and ProColombia—all asking what we needed—gave us a lot of confidence, because this is a long-term business. It is a 38-hectare park; we plan to build 18 buildings, so we're going to be here for a long time."
Andrés Mosquera, Chinese Operations Manager of Express Luck, a television manufacturer, stated: "We decided on a free trade zone because of its proximity to the port of Buenaventura. I would also highlight people’s warmth and government entities’ hard work, which has been fundamental to our project. It gives foreigners peace of mind, especially for the Chinese, who are very respectful of rules and authorities. Feeling supported by the regional government has been crucial."
In turn, Emmanuel Landa—manager of Viveros Génesis Peru, a Trujillo-based company that produces Hass avocado, citrus, and grape seedlings—highlighted the benefits that make the region Colombia’s main farm belt. "In Peru, the El Niño phenomenon is a serious problem, because when it arrives, all investments in agriculture stop. Therefore, we looked for another location and decided on Colombia. In Valle del Cauca we saw a wonderful climate, a strategic location, and great export potential. Colombia has a great advantage; it can fill the world's supermarket shelves twelve months of the year,” he said.
In fact, due to this Peruvian company’s presence in the region, last year the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) recognized Invest Pacific as an investment promotion agency that contributes to the sustainable development goals.
Finally, Julián Pérez, Manager of Florius Flowers—a Dutch company producing flowers for export, established in El Dovio and Roldanillo—stated: "I embarked on a four-month journey, traveling across 3,150 kilometers and visiting more than seven departments. From the day I arrived in Valle de Cauca, I knew that it was the place. We chose Valle de Cauca for the ease of access, the quality of the people, the land, and the institutional support. Each hectare of cultivated flowers creates 10 jobs in the cultivation and four in the post-harvest. If we manage to develop 100 hectares, we will have 1,400 (jobs)."
Created eight years ago, Invest Pacific is an entity responsible for promoting investment in the city-region in collaboration with the public and private sector. In the past eight years of continuous work, Invest Pacific has promoted 97 investment projects in Valle del Cauca, with an investment amount exceeding USD $926 million and creating almost ten thousand jobs.
"Of those 97 projects, 53 projects were established in the region just in the last three years (between 2016 and 2018), representing more than USD $421 million and contributing to the creation of 5,522 new jobs. This shows the favorable investment climate that investors are finding in Colombia," said panel moderator Alejandro Ossa Cárdenas, Executive Director of Invest Pacific.
The investments over the last three years have come from countries such as the Netherlands, Peru, Uruguay, China, and many more. They are based in different municipalities and cities in the region—not only in Cali, Jamundí, Yumbo, and Palmira, where investment has traditionally come, but also in Candelaria, Buenaventura, Buga, Roldanillo, El Dovio, Bolívar, Yotoco, and Trujillo.
Valle del Cauca is a department of cities, which has very good productivity conditions, a strong business network, a highly qualified workforce, and a wide range of services," added the Executive Director of Invest Pacific.