Manufacturing companies continue investing in Colombia: Smurfit Kappa to make a US $50 million investment in 2021
Just as Colombia is advancing on economic reactivation, Smurfit Kappa, a big player among manufacturing companies, announced the construction of a new plant in the country. For the construction of what will be most modern plant Smurfit Kappa Group has in the country, the company will invest more than USD $50 million.
In Guarne, Antioquia, the municipality that will host the headquarters, a positive impact is expected. One of the first benefits will be the demand for direct and indirect jobs that will be generated in the short term (345 jobs) with the construction and operation of the plant.
“Companies like Smurfit Kappa are an example of resilience and transformation. In addition, they contribute to the growth and development of the country. This is the type of efficiency investment that contributes to the training of talent with technology transfer and job creation. It is a vote of confidence for Colombia that joins the initiatives in favor of the economic reactivation of our nation”, stated Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia.
Other companies’ investments in Colombia
Like Smurfit Kappa, other companies have announced major transformations that lay down a strong foundation for economic reactivation. These combine to reach the country’s foreign investment goals for 2021.
For example, the Pepsico company from the agribusiness and food production sector. The multinational has announced an investment of US $93 million for the construction of a new production plant that will start operations in 2022. This plant will also be located in the municipality of Guarne, Antioquia.
On the other hand, Indra, one of the world's leading technology companies, will be installing its new Smart 4.0 Center of Excellence in Medellín. Thanks to the alliance with ACI Medellín, Ruta N, and ProColombia, the operation of the multinational will allow the growth of Medellín's science, technology and innovation ecosystem. This decision will facilitate the digital transformation of other companies, in short, it increases business competitiveness in the capital of Antioquia, one of the smart cities in Latin America.
Smurfit Kappa business relocation opens opportunities for Medellín
With the relocation of the plant from Medellín to Guarne, Smurfit Kappa maintains its operation in Antioquia. At the same time, it opens up more space for the transformation of the area it occupied in Medellín where the plant operated, achieving continuous growth over 60 years. In this city, the sector known as the Simesa block, which has also hosted other important companies for the city's economy, already has a partial redevelopment plan. This plan has considered the coexistence of areas with productive and industrial uses from manufacturing companies as it moves towards the construction of urban projects.
Álvaro José Henao, president of Smurfit Kappa, has expressed that it has been important for the company to read the environment and adapt to what the city requires, which in this case has to do with the possibility that Medellín has to grow inward. Smurfit Kappa and other’s business relocation makes it possible to renew land uses in the metropolitan area. For example, the Simesa block, Henao says, is an area that should already have a different use.
Manufacturing companies investing in infrastructure: a long-term bet
The US $50 million investment for the construction of the plant that would start operations in 2023 not only proves the projection of the Smurfit Kappa Group, but also the investment opportunities in infrastructure that Colombia offers. This is because the country has tax benefits and incentives to promote business relocation or the arrival of foreign companies. For example, the free trade zones; areas with a special regime for the development of industrial and commercial activities.
Renew processes as a path to sustainability
The building of the new Smurfit Kappa plant will incorporate the recommendations of the International Certification for Sustainable Buildings LEED (its acronym in English), printing systems, and a state-of-the-art corrugator to meet the challenges that manufacturing companies have in terms of sustainability. In fact, the company has been the first in the paper industry to obtain the “Colombian Environmental Labor” certification.
For Álvaro José Henao, president of Smurfit Kappa, it has been important to adjust to these transformations: “with a market that increasingly demands sustainable, innovative and efficient packaging, investing in Colombia continues to be a great bet for the Smurfit Kappa Group, which recognizes the positive development dynamics of the country and the talent of our people.” As for the company’s impact, Smurfit Kappa had created more than 2,600 quality jobs in rural communities, and invested US $1.6 million in the community during 2019.
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