Caribbean looks to Colombia for strategic investments
Caribbean markets are increasingly seeking investment opportunities in Colombia, showing particular interest in software, IT and business process outsourcing services as well as insurance and financial services, hotel infrastructure and construction materials.
So said Proexport, the Colombian government agency in charge of foreign investment, trade and tourism, which said the country’s economic stability, free trade zone benefits, and grades of investment awarded by international risk-ratings firms make it an ideal strategic partner.
Due to limitations in the economy and population of the Caribbean, companies are seeking to expand their businesses outside of the region, said Maria Claudia Lacouture, president of Proexport Colombia.
“Local companies in Puerto Rico, Curacao and the Dominican Republic for example, are looking into emerging markets in Latin America; because Colombia offers great protection for investors and a platform to reach other markets in South America, it is an ideal strategic partner for investors,” she said.
“By setting up an operation in Colombia, you gain access to other markets that have FTAs with Colombia,” said Lacouture.
A number of foreign business process outsourcing, software and IT service companies from around the world have been investing in Colombia in recent years. The Caribbean has been on the same bandwagon, deciding to organize several of their international projects in Colombia.
In addition, companies from Puerto Rico, Curacao, Aruba and the Bahamas have already established themselves in the country. Some of these companies include MC21, Triple S, Lanco and ESI from Puerto Rico, Grupo Ennia from Curacao, and Columbus Network from the Bahamas.
These markets are also benefiting from Colombia’s desire to invest in the Caribbean. This region is becoming an attractive base for Colombian companies that seek investment opportunities and to establish themselves in the islands.
It is a win-win situation for all economies seeking to expand, she said.
One of Proexport’s missions is to support the internationalization of Colombian companies in the Caribbean, those who seek investment opportunities in that region are accompanied by investment specialists who facilitate access and communication with Caribbean companies and governments.
Colombian companies have been particularly interested in the chemical sector, food industry and call center services available in the Caribbean, Lacouture said.