Colombia’s government promotion agency, Procolombia, is looking to boost foreign direct investment by attracting Caribbean investors who are looking to reach South America, as Colombia is a strategic export platform for the region, including Puerto Rico.
“The high ratings of global firms, the GDP growth in the last five years and the time it takes to start a new business in Colombia, are some of the factors that have made this country the ideal place to invest and do business,” Procolombia executives said Wednesday.
According to the FDI Markets monitoring service, between 2003 and the first half of 2014, the Caribbean market has conducted the highest number of foreign direct investment, or FDI, projects in Colombia, after Brazil. Colombia was ranked leader in terms of investor protection in the region.
“The legal and regulatory framework for FDI in Colombia, along with the specialized service offered in Procolombia, makes the process of investing in our country an easier one,” said María Claudia Lacouture, president of Procolombia. “Moreover, our institution works to identify investment opportunities and guides investors during the entire process.”
Among the opportunities identified in Colombia for the Caribbean region are the Software, IT, and BPO industries, hotel and tourism infrastructure, the steel industry, petrochemicals, capital funds and construction materials.
The government promotion agency aims to promote the benefits and incentives offered in Colombia for investment projects, and it’s actively seeking investors in the Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Trinidadian markets, among others.
“Our geographical location and signed agreements, such as the Pacific Alliance, have allowed us to become a platform for countries in the Caribbean that wish to enter the South American market.” said Lacouture.
Recently, Japanese rating agency, Rating & Investment Inc., noted Colombia’s improved reputation due to its GDP growth of 4.8 percent in 2014 and increased the country’s rating from BBB- to BBB. This recognition is added to that of other major rating agencies in the world, which have positively graded Colombia on BBB/Baa2 (Standard & Poors, Fitch and DBRS Rating & Investment/Moody’s), Procolombia officials said.