The Ministry of Commerce is advancing in a relocation strategy for companies from different parts of the world with an interest in investing in Colombia, as part of the strategy for commercial and industrial reactivation in the country.
(Lea: Colombia identifies US companies that would relocate to the country)
This ‘nearshoring’ would give the nation an advantage in different sectors, such as the pharmaceutical industry, manufacturing and supplies for footwear, clothing and textiles, the automotive, food and beverage industries, BPO, software and digital innovation.
(Lea: Colombian exports by FTA are 69.7% of the total)
The pandemic accelerated the process of reorganization of trade and, in the opinion of the Ministry and various experts, the country has much to offer.
(Lea: Cargo handled by ports fell 9.8%)
“Through this investment relocation strategy, which we have been building in conjunction with AmCham Colombia, the Colombian Embassy in the United States and ambassadors from other regions of the world, we are trying to identify which multinationals, and from which regions, They are looking for a new organization of their supply chains to strengthen their supply bases and get closer to their final consumers ”, said the Minister of Commerce, José Manuel Restrepo.
In the segmentation carried out by the Ministry, there are 596 companies, of which 421 have been contacted and, as a result, 50 companies with interest and potential to relocate in Colombia were found. Of these, 18 are from North America, 14 from Asia, 12 from Europe, and six from Latin America.
Regarding the names of the companies, the Minister indicated that he reserves the name for confidentiality, but the sectors are already defined. Among the segmentation criteria of these companies, the high potential for expansion stands out, those that can settle in Colombia and use the country as an export platform; capital funds that leverage investments from firms with export potential and, finally, companies that are carrying out relocation processes from Asia.
For the director of AmCham Colombia, María Claudia Lacouture, the ‘nearshoring’ process has been taking place for two years as a result of the commercial tension between China and the United States, and it accelerated with the effects that the pandemic has generated on trade of covid-19.
“In particular from the United States, companies that had production in China or Asia began to look for options for a closer and more efficient supply, and as such, regional value chains are strengthened. Due to our proximity to the United States, this is a great opportunity for the country and will allow better use of the free trade agreement and promote the diversification of exports, ”he explained.
Among the points to improve is productivity in the country’s companies. “There is an important gap in productivity between Colombia and the United States, if we do not work on this the opportunities will not come, so we can identify many and this is the time for Colombia to do so,” he added.
According to the directive, there are also consumer-facing possibilities in fashion items, electronics and digital technology, toys, hobby items, DIY, furniture, household appliances, food and personal care products.
In the case of B2B, it is in chemical products, furniture, household appliances, common metals and tools, fashion items, electronics and technology, stone, cement, ceramic products and glass.
“We know six companies; two of them from the agricultural sector, one installed that seeks to increase its participation in the country in other sectors and make another investment due to the strategy of the parent company, another that arrives and is validating its investment; In the automotive sector we have a company installed that will soon make an announcement of a large reinvestment, another in textiles with a change in production through an alliance with a North American company to complement it, and another offer in the pharmaceutical sector. We hope that before the year is out, we will reveal the name of one or two of these, ”said Lacouture.
For Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia, segmentation may vary, and explained that the main “objective is to promote Colombia as an ideal destination for the ‘nearshoring’ of international companies that seek to reorganize their supply chains to respond to the situation.”
For Santoro, the specific results of this strategy in the short and medium term will be seen once the due processes that involve materializing an investment in Colombia are completed.
“The strategy is a fundamental part of the economic reactivation plan Compromiso por Colombia, with the goal of attracting foreign investment by 2022 for US $ 11,500 million in non-mining energy sectors,” he said.