Bancolombia, Nutresa and Alpina, the leading companies in the Merco Colombia 2020 ranking

Salomón Asmar Soto –

In the Merco Empresas y Líderes Colombia 2020 ranking, a study that allows evaluating the reputation of companies and business leaders in the country, the first six positions of the ranking of the 100 companies with the best corporate reputation in Colombia remained unchanged with respect to to the 2019 edition, being occupied in their order by Bancolombia, Grupo Nutresa, Alpina, Sura, Ecopetrol and Bavaria.

“To be chosen by Merco as the company with the best reputation in Colombia in 2020 is a commitment to the country. We will continue to lead the way of a bank with a purpose, which listens to the needs of citizens and companies, ”said the president of Bancolombia, Juan Carlos Mora.

Likewise, for the first time they entered the top 10 Arturo Calle, who climbed a dozen positions, going from the seventeenth position occupied in 2019 to the seventh place, and Crepes & Waffles, which occupied the position number 10 in 2020, after being in 2019 in position 18. The rest of the top 10 is made up of Grupo Éxito (eighth place), which comes from position number 13 in the previous edition; and in position 9 was Cementos Argos.

“We celebrate that the companies of Grupo Empresarial Argos are recognized among the most admired by Colombians and with the best reputation. We receive the news with humility and with enormous enthusiasm to continue building through responsible business practice and generating shared value for all stakeholders ”, said the president of Grupo Empresarial Argos, Jorge Mario Velásquez.

This ranking of companies showed a predominance in the reputational issue of the companies of the group known as Grupo Empresarial Antioqueño, to the point that in a statement, Grupo Sura even celebrated the good behavior of the companies that are part of its investment portfolio. “Bancolombia obtained the first place, Protection was located in number 49, Grupo Nutresa was placed in second position and Grupo Argos advanced to position 23 and its subsidiaries Cementos Argos and Celsia occupied positions 9 and 43, respectively,” they explained.

List of entrepreneurs

The Merco Empresas y Líderes Colombia 2020 ranking also rated the entrepreneurs with the best corporate reputation. Arturo Calle, went from fourth place to lead the list; followed by Carlos Ignacio Gallego, from Grupo Nutresa; and by the president of Bancolombia, Juan Carlos Mora Uribe. The top five of the companies was closed by Felipe Bayón Pardo, from Ecopetrol, who climbed four positions; and Carlos Mario Giraldo Moreno, from Grupo Éxito, who remains in fifth place.

Two women were also highlighted in the top 10 of entrepreneurs: Beatriz Fernández, from Crepes & Waffles, and Sylvia Escovar, from Terpel, who holds a position in that distinguished group for the second consecutive year.

“We are proud and grateful to Colombia for this recognition. It reflects the hard work of a tireless and passionate team to generate memorable experiences for our clients. What pride to serve the country through an innovative offer and an inclusive organizational culture, which is committed to equity and respect for diversity, and through a strong commitment as AliadoPaís, which leads us to put the interests of Colombia first! those of the company! ”Escovar said in a statement.

Sample growth

The total sample of the Merco Empresas y Líderes field had an increase of 19% compared to the previous year, going from 60,977 surveys to 72,591 for 2020, made to company executives, communications directors, opinion leaders, financial analysts, journalists of economic information, government, NGOs, unions, social media managers, the general population, among others. “In general, all citizens have realized their good or bad behavior and their social contribution to a greater or lesser scale,” said the CEO of Merco, José María San Segundo.


Transbank spreads image of the new machines for debit and credit payments in commerce | Economy

A new update was carried out in the payments market, with the recent announcement of Transbank the launch of their new POS equipment.

These are devices with Android technology, which operate a 50% faster than the current edition.

“This innovation by Transbank responds to the evolution and transformation of behaviors, both at the payment level in Chile and the increase in users in the digital field,” they indicated from the firm.

The manager of Transbank’s Operations and Technology Division, Vicente Tredinick, explained that this new launch “is a new step to bring digitization closer to businesses, also providing greater security and speed ”.

With this technology, he added, “the point of sale of each of our clients is now transformed into an intelligent point, where the user can purchase products through it and adjust it to their operation.”

This new development seeks to provide support “and a closer and more direct relationship with the client,” commented from Transbank.

For example, in the event of a difficulty in the device of a store, a Contact Center executive will be able to access an online and remote monitoring connected directly to the POS equipment, to guide the customer throughout the process, and avoiding visits from field technicians.

The new machine

Like current POS, this new generation of equipment incorporates electronic ticket, payment with QR Collection and normal payments. They also have a marketplace platform that will allow them to upload functionalities closer to each business, such as balancing their boxes, controlling inventories, functionalities for specific items such as restaurants, among others.

Another fundamental aspect of these new devices are the security standards, certified until 2026 under the international standard of PCI 5 (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), said the company.

“They are teams whose connectivity logic acts with the same ease and intuition as that of a smart cell phone, They are compatible with Wifi, 4G and Bluetooth, includes band and chip for purchases with credit, debit and prepaid cards. In addition to having a touch screen, it includes a digital keyboard and dynamic, which changes with each transaction, thus favoring the security of the cardholder’s shopping experience, ”explained Tredinick.

During September, the first pilot plan to update this device was carried out in a gastronomic store located in the eastern sector of Santiago. The implementation of this technological instrument will be carried out gradually from the end of 2020, for current and new clients of the company.


Silver abroad

Business adulation is a constant, but to understand what they think, you have to see what they do with their money. The data is not encouraging, every time less private capital arrives to the country. Net private equity withdrawals contracted 63% as of September 30, from US $ 9,645 million to US $ 3,588 million. It is normal for investors to withdraw from emerging markets to find refuge in the US in times of turmoil. This adjustment may go further than Colombia’s economic fundamentals. That US $ 6,057 million stop arriving is not a minor issue; if the withdrawal of private capital continues to increase, it is a message not only for the Government but for the country.

It is understandable that during the pandemic, foreign direct investment, which invests in tangible assets, is put off in the face of uncertainty. In Colombia, this decreased by US $ 1,880 million in September, 26% compared to the previous year, reaching only US $ 5,371 million. The improvement in other sectors, by US $ 432 million, does not compensate for the 43% drop in hydrocarbons. For what there is no covid is for the direct investments of Colombians abroad, which increased by US $ 5 million.

In the TES auction in September, foreign funds broke a record with net purchases of US $ 1.5 billion. These reflect the confidence of the financial community in the management of macroeconomic policy. Another country that had our debt figures, would have already lost investment grade. Colombia’s appetite for risk also reflects the US $ 10 trillion of global stimulus on account of the covid-19. Excess liquidity, together with interest rates close to 0%, makes Colombia’s yields attractive. This inflow of foreign capital should have led to an appreciation of the peso, but the exodus of local capital is what sustains the change at about $ 3,850.

The portfolio investment flow of Colombians abroad as of September went from US $ 985 million to US $ 4,698 million. This is explained by the increase in pension funds, trusts, and collective portfolios of US $ 4,531 million. The diversification of assets and currency, in the light of today, clearly benefits the Colombian pensioner. The mere fact that 37% of the pension portfolio is in dollars means that these investments are 17.6% higher in pesos. What is unfortunate is that there are no good investments in the country.

The phenomenon in Colombia is not unique, according to the IMF, 30% of the debt capital has been withdrawn in emerging markets. What is different is that usually in crises, foreigners get the money and locals stay, not the other way around. This year the government has repatriated US $ 8,896 million, halting the devaluation of the peso. Next year only US $ 2 billion of repatriation from the government is expected. Absent this phenomenon we can have foreign exchange surprises.

Now more than ever we need economic coordination and messages of stability. If the Government decides to return to the Banco de la República an appendix of the Ministry of Finance, it better have loose votes. A prolonged struggle to define its management does damage beyond the institutional one. If political uncertainty scares, the institutional struggle has just killed.


The Finsocial entity will request a license to operate as a digital bank starting next year

The banking system is preparing for the arrival of new players next year. To the requests of BTG Pactual, JP Morgan and Lulo Bank to operate as banks in the country will be added that of Finsocial, a company that grants loans to public sector teachers and pensioners from Colpensiones, Fopep (Public Pension Fund), Casur (Retirement Salaries Fund of the National Police), Positiva and Fiduprevisora.

Santiago Botero, CEO of Finsocial, confirmed in an interview with LR that he expects the fintech to become a 100% digital bank by the first half of next year. However, the estimated time will depend on the length of the validations and analysis by the Financial Superintendency to grant the license.

“Right now a new partner is coming to Finsocial. There are five companies interested and I estimate that before the end of the year all the details of this transaction will be known. The firms behind this operation are foreign, there are North Americans and there is also a very large European fund, ”added Botero. Once this operation is completed, the license application will proceed.

The CEO of Finsocial also assured that the bet to become a bank occurs because, first, they have the resources to achieve it and, second, because they have already done the most difficult thing that these entities do, which is to learn to lend money and know how to manage the risk in those operations.

Taking into account the experience they have in the sector, Botero advanced some details of how the entity will work, once the Superfinancial gives them the guarantee. The first thing the executive highlighted is that the entity will raise money, offer other lines of loans that go the same way with its commitment to “safe credits”, and will have a credit card.

“We are doing the papers with Mastercard, but I think we will also have with Visa,” said Botero, who added that they will have a savings account in which they offer some type of return to customers and will have collection mechanisms such as CDT and Other than products that there are and that adjust to the needs of the users.

With the start-up of the operations of Finsocial, Lulo Bank, JP Morgan and BTG Pactual as banking entities in the coming months, the Colombian financial system will complete 29 banks, of which it has been confirmed, so far, that two would be neobanks, which are Finsocial and Lulo Bank. It is worth clarifying that Nubank will not yet function in Colombia as a bank.

In the midst of this avalanche of requests and the fact that about 90% of the municipalities in Colombia are not yet implementing electronic payment systems, according to a study by Visa, Botero said that betting on a digital offer is not a limitation because plans to take advantage of the 29 offices they currently have as an anchor to teach users about digital banking, as they have been doing so far.

Finsocial is committed to becoming a bank at a time when it has 30,000 clients and a loan origination goal of $ 290,000 million, at the end of this year, which would represent an increase of 30%.

Based on bets such as that of Finsocial, David Nieto Martínez, professor and coordinator of the financial area of ​​the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences of the El Bosque University, assured that one of the sectors that has had to reinvent itself the most is the financial one, the which had a greater pressure in terms of digitization due to the different mobility restrictions that were had. This conjuncture increased the need for 100% digital entities such as neobanks.

Manuel de la Cruz, president of Banco Santander Colombia, assured that this is great news, as this helps to improve competition and competitiveness. “We hope that the regulator will ask these banks the same requirements as traditional banks,” he added.

Radiography of the sector
The four entities that are lining up to start operating as banks come at a time when the profits of the 25 entities reached an accumulated $ 3.53 trillion at the end of July of this year, that is, 42.5% below the levels registered during the same period of 2019, when profits were $ 6.14 trillion, according to data from the Financial Superintendency.

In addition to entering a financial system that is hit by the economic crisis unleashed by COVID-19, the new entities will have to face a scenario in which Bancolombia and Davivienda are the banks that moved more than 69% of total operations registered by the financial system at the end of June 2020, with 2,701 million and 515 million transactions, respectively.

The movements of the two banks occurred in the middle of a context in which the number of operations that Colombians carried out through the financial system was 4,663 million at the end of the first semester. These moved a total of $ 3,599 billion, which represented an increase of 10.5% compared to the data for the second half of 2019.

It is worth noting that operations in virtual channels continue to increase. Through these, 74% of the total operations were carried out: 2,469 million through mobile banking and 966 million through internet, with shares of 53% and 21%, respectively.

Finsocial’s bets aimed at supporting communities
Botero assured that in the midst of the crisis that the country is going through, Finsocial has committed to creating products that support the economic development of different communities. A sample of this bet is that the entity launched three initiatives during the pandemic, which are FinsoAmigo, Finsoalivio and FinsoTienda. “To this is added that Finsocial plans to issue social bonds for $ 160,000 million. We plan for these bonds to come out before November ”, added the CEO of the company.


This is the plan to prepare the commercial landing of the Swedish multinational Ikea in the Chilean market

Financial Newspaper – Santiago

It is not that they have to speak Swedish, or know a complete Abba album, but the 60 people who prepare the arrival of Ikea to Chile have been learning for months about the culture of the iconic furniture and decoration store. And from your country of origin.

Since May 17, 2018, when Falabella hit the ground running and announced that it had acquired the franchise to install the brand created 75 years ago by Ingvar Kamprad in Chile, Colombia and Peru, the work began incessantly. US $ 600 million were allocated to refurbish premises and hire personnel.

In addition, a regional board of directors was formed chaired by the former corporate general manager of Home Improvement, Enrique Gundermann and made up of Alejandro Arze, Jordi Gaju, Juan Fernando Correa and Sergio Muñoz. All men from Falabella.

Nothing random
And the process has been quiet, in part, because many of the decisions have to be made with the permission of Europe. According to those who know the business, the Nordics have an impressive level of detail, especially for the Chilean standard.

And it is that anyone who has entered an Ikea store in Paris, Madrid or Stockholm perceives the same distribution of the aisles, and even very similar music and aromas. And all that, they want to transfer it to Santiago, Bogotá and Lima. Nothing can be left to chance, they emphasize.

The first thing was to find locations, or rather to choose which Homy stores would switch to the Ikea format, since the Homy stores will gradually disappear, although they will remain as a brand within the Sodimac Homecenter and on The Homy of the Kennedy Open in Las Condes and the Tottus of the Plaza Oeste in Cerrillos were chosen.

In the case of Chile, the locations should be opening in the first quarter of 2022, for Colombia and Peru there is no date, but yes or yes it will be after Chile.

It was first planned to do it in early 2021 in Santiago, but the pandemic delayed everything. Even several months the work stopped completely, although inside the Open Kennedy store, for example, it is still used as a kind of warehouse, to deliver the sales made through the website.

The place of delivery to the client is right in the Sodimac of the same shopping center of the Falabella group next to Parque Arauco. But in parallel with the search and commissioning of these locations, they had to put together a team.

Well located places, with a lot of neighboring residential sector and with different socioeconomic segments. While in Colombia it will be in the Calima shopping center, which Mall Plaza has just acquired; and in Lima, there is still no defined place.

Read the full note here


In history, only 22 women have won a Nobel Prize in medicine, physics or chemistry

Laura Sofía Solórzano C –

The participation of women in the world of science and research has gained strength in recent years, which can be seen, for example, in the Nobel Prize in Medicine, Physics or Chemistry, that of 23 awards given to women during 119 years, about 27% have been in the last five years.

The truth is that before women’s suffrage, with the exception of the Polish scientist, Marie Curie, who won two Nobeles; one of physics in 1903 for investigations on the phenomena of radiation; and one of chemistry in 1911 for the discovery of radium and polonium, the women did not sound in the delivery of these awards more than as companions.

But 24 years later, more women would begin to be recognized. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Irène Joliot-Curie, daughter of Marie Curie and Pierre Curie, became the second woman to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, she received the award in 1935 for her synthesis of radioactive elements; Dorothy Crowfoot from the UK received an award in chemistry in 1964 and almost half a century later, in 2009, Israeli Ada Yonath won the award for studying the structure and function of the ribosome.

This year, two women made history again, the scientists Emmanuelle Charpentier, from France and Jennifer Doudna, from the United States, received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry; for discoveries related to DNA editing, a breakthrough that could help treat hereditary diseases and cancer.

In the case of medicine, Gerty Theresa Cori was the first woman to win a Nobel, she obtained it in 1947 for discovering the mechanism of the catalytic conversion of glycogen; in 1983, the American Rosalyn Yalow was added to the list and three years later the Italian Rita Levi-Montalcini also won the award.

The Nobel Prizes in Medicine are the ones that have awarded the most women in these three categories, 12 in total; the last one was handed over to Chinese scientist Tu Youyou five years ago for discovering a new treatment for malaria.

Furthermore, 58% of the prizes that have been given to women in this category correspond to American scientists; in the list it is the only nationality that is repeated; the other nobel winners are from Italy, Germany, France, Norway and China.

For the Nobel Prize in physics, the appearance of more women was a little slower, as 60 years passed for there to be a second award; Maria Goeppert-Mayer, an American national, was recognized in 1963 for discoveries related to the nuclear structure of layers.

In total four women have been awarded in this category; two of them in the current century: the Canadian scientist, Donna Strickland, received the award in 2018 for her contributions to laser physics and the American, Andrea M. Ghez, who obtained it this year for discoveries related to black holes.

In her award speech the scientist invited more women to get involved in the world of science, “I hope I can inspire other young women to the field. It is a field that has so many pleasures, and if you are passionate about science, there is much that can be done, “said Ghez.

A curious fact is that of the 22 women who have won the chemistry, physics and medicine nobles, only two studied at the same university, they are Rosalyn Yalow and Gertrude B. Elion, who were trained at New York University.

Catherine Cesa Luna, PhD in Microbiological Sciences from the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, in Mexico, comments that the work of women in science is becoming more and more noticeable and the struggle to remain visible continues over the years.

“One of the efforts is the creation of networks of scientists to support each other, share ideas, generate jobs, disseminate the work, and mainly promote sisterhood,” says Cesa against the advances of women in scientific cooperation.

Some of the factors that have led to more and more noblemen having a woman’s name is their inclusion in the workplace and education, access to more management positions and a considerable decrease in stereotypes.

However, in a world where 602 awards for medicine, physics and chemistryAs less than 0.3% were delivered to female scientists, there remains a great challenge for current and future generations to match the numbers.


Scotiabank Colpatria launched the first One Rewards Metal credit card in Colombia

Paola Andrea Vargas Rubio –

Scotiabank Colpatria launched the One Rewards Metal credit card, from the Visa franchise, which will offer various benefits and experiences through the different agreements and alliances that the product will have.

This card was designed in France and Scotiabank Colpatria became the first entity to offer it to users in Colombia. According to information shared by the entity, the card is made of metal, is blue and will have a personalization of the name of each client, which will be laser engraved.

This card is aimed at the Scotia Wealth Management customer segment, with investments in excess of $ 1 billion. Jaime Alberto Upegui, president of Scotiabank Colpatria, explained that this commitment by the entity occurs at a time when this customer segment grew 10.5% in the last year, both in terms of number of people and capital administered.

“This growth led to Scotiabank Colpatria continue to strive to provide them with new experiences through our portfolio of personalized services and advice, but also through exclusive products, “added Upegui.

Regarding this, Humberto Guihur, general manager of Visa Colombia, said that “this launch responds to the most recent milestone of working with our ally Scotiabank Colpatria, with whom we are proud to continue contributing to the growth and development of digital payments in the country. In Colombia, we presented a 20% penetration of Visa contactless payments, during August of this year, and we will continue to be committed to connecting all people through fast, secure and convenient digital payments ”.

Some of the benefits of the card
The entity highlighted that the benefits include a 2% return on all international purchases, without a maximum limit; 2% refund on all digital purchases made until December 31, 2020; $ 0 handling fee for meeting the minimum amount of purchases per month, among others.


Huawei in talks with Digital China to get rid of part of the mobile business

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is in talks with Digital China Group Co Ltd and other groups to sell parts of its Honor smartphone unit in a deal that could fetch 25 billion yuan (about $ 3.7 billion), people with knowledge of the company said. theme.

Huawei is reconsidering its priorities in the face of US sanctions and will focus on the division of its high-end phones instead of the Honor brand, which is aimed at the young population and the tightest budgets, they said.

The list of assets to be sold has not yet been finalized but could include the Honor brand, R&D divisions and supply chain management, two of the sources said.

The deal could be a cash sale and could end up for less than expected, worth between 15 and 25 billion yuan, one of the people said.

Digital China, the main distributor of Honor phones, has emerged as the leader, but other potential buyers include Chinese electronics maker TCL and rival smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp, the sources said.

Huawei, Digital China and Xiaomi did not immediately respond to requests for comment. TCL declined to comment.


Four out of 10 Nobel Prize winners in Physics and Medicine are from the United States

Laura Sofía Solórzano C –

Nobel prizes are known and respected throughout the world for recognizing the best in certain categories. But what do these geniuses have in common? At least, when it comes to physics and medicine, 45% of the winners since 2000 are American nationals.

The British also play an important role, representing 15% of the winners, Germany, in third place, has 5% of these awards. Precisely, in the 2020 edition, the nobels of physics and medicine have these three nationalities.

Roger Penrose from the UK; Reinhard Genzel from Germany and Andrea M. Ghez from the USA were awarded in physics for the discovery of a black hole. Ghez, joins the list of four women who have won this recognition since the first edition of the Nobel. It is curious that this scientist has made a TED talk before winning the Nobel in which she explained the theory that would lead her to have this great recognition (see QR).

For their part, Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice from the USA and Michael Houghton from the United Kingdom, were awarded in medicine for discovering the Hepatitis C virus. Nobel juries recognized the importance of the discovery to treat the pathogen that causes diseases such as cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Faced with the nationalities of the nobels of physics and medicine, Claudia Marcela Vargas, professor in the Department of Pharmacy of the National University of Colombia and director of the Ifarma Foundation points out that the panorama responds to greater investment in science and technology by the countries.

“They are countries that invest more than 2% or 3% of their GDP in research and development, in addition, the relationship between research and industry is much closer,” explained Vargas.

Another interesting point is the universities in the world through which more nobles in physics and medicine have passed in the last 20 years. LR surveyed the universities that awarded the winners’ undergraduate degrees and found that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has the most graduates with this distinction. According to the accounts of the last 20 years this educational institution has had seven nobels; four in medicine and three in physics.

Harvard University equates him with seven Nobles; five in physics and two in medicine, which makes these two universities, both in the United States, have an important prestige in the world of science.

“Many developing countries still depend on the granting of support and financing to carry out activities related to scientific and technological research,” added Catherine Cesa Luna, Doctor in Microbiological Sciences from the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, who highlighted the importance of having the necessary resources for the investigation.

Continuing with the universities, in medicine the University of Oxford in England, Cambridge and Columbia also stand out, all of them in the top of the best institutions in the world. In terms of physics, the University of Tokyo, Nagoya and Berkeley stand out.

Research topics in the last 20 years have been very diverse, physics has gone through mega-resistances, communication fibers, black holes, astrophysics and others. In medicine, the cell, DNA, diseases such as cancer, hypertension and studies on viruses have been awarded.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Literature, Economics and Peace are next on the list

The awarding of the Nobel prizes began this Monday and the list of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry that will be awarded today, the one for Literature next Thursday, on Friday is the turn for the Nobel Peace Prize and on Monday, October 12 will meet the nobel of economy.

It should be noted that the Nobel Foundation announced that it would increase the amount awarded for individual awards to 10 million crowns (US $ 1.1 million), to reflect an increase in the returns generated on its capital in recent years.


Legality, reactivation and well-being

Despite the difficulties it has brought with it, the current situation opens a historical window to measure the seriousness of smuggling and assess the importance of combating it.

Since the arrival of the covid-19 pandemic in the country, there have been several perspectives to analyze its outcome: access to vaccines and testing capacity, subsidy schemes, unemployment, fiscal decisions and digitization of the economy, among other urgent issues that are they incorporate the so-called “new normal” into the agenda. In the midst of this plurality of views, a common denominator that the national conversation has had has been the inevitable impact on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which in addition to conditioning a large part of the economic and social policy goals for the coming years , poses great challenges for the development and regional growth of Colombia.

For this reason, and taking into account that the outlook for the recovery is still adverse – the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently adjusted its growth projection for the country in 2020, which went from -7.8% to -8 , 2% -, it is essential that all initiatives in favor of guaranteeing the resources of the departments acquire a greater role, since they constitute the main way to promote the well-being of the local population and facilitate their adaptation to current dynamics.

In this sense, aspects such as the fight against smuggling and the promotion of legality are emerging as essential axes of the socio-economic reactivation of each of the territories in the country. It should be remembered, for example, that the collection via Consumption Tax in the liquor and cigarette trade is an important source of income for departmental income, with which each governorate can invest in public programs and facilities for health areas, education and sports.

And it is that talking about smuggling in Colombia is not a minor issue or a waiting task: it is a real scourge. In 2019 alone, this activity, in addition to having saved the nation revenues of US $ 4,899 million, about 2% of its GDP, represented the loss of around 200,000 formal jobs, according to data from DIAN and ANDI .

To this panorama, to make its importance more sensitive, are added the consequences that the evolution of the pandemic has brought on regional finances. So far this year, according to a recent report prepared by the technical team of the National Federation of Departments (FND), the average departmental income has suffered a decrease of 52% compared to last year’s values, which translates to $ 1.3 trillion less in public resources.

Thus, efforts such as those carried out by the FND’s Anti-Smuggling Program, in alliance with strategic entities such as the Fiscal and Customs Police (POLFA), DIAN, the different governorates and their operational teams and the multinational Philip Morris, among several others. actors, are vital for territorial progress in the short and medium term.

At this point, it is relevant to mention that legality is not only a concept of strength and authority, but above all, a task with a social face that, in the case of the Anti-Contraband Program, includes socialization actions towards the end consumer, pedagogy towards the group of shopkeepers, training sessions with the Public Force and strategies to favor the design of public policies.

Faced with Colombia’s challenge to return to its natural productive dynamism, overcome the profound impacts caused by covid-19 and completely reactivate its labor scaffolding, the fight against smuggling requires the solidarity of the entire population. This fight, over and above the confiscations, seizures, and dismantling of criminal gangs, begins by recognizing the human component behind legal trade.

The country is facing an exceptional opportunity to assimilate the relevance of its departmental heritage. To the extent that consumers, merchants and wholesale and retail distributors and related authorities and institutions manage to tune towards the same goal, legality, the national reactivation will not only be a matter of numbers and indicators, but it will be a social achievement in the that the main indicator will be well-being.