Online retail giant Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced today that it will open an office in Bogotá that will handle customer service.
It will start out by hiring 400 people by the end of October, according to the Seattle-based company, with a plan to increased that number to 600 in all before the end of the year.
At the center, located on Calle 26 in the Colombian capital, employees will fulfill customer service needs from across the world in Spanish, English, and Portuguese.
The company chose Colombia in part due to the talent, experience, and passion of the country’s workers, according to Tom Weiland, vice president of global customer service for Amazon. “I could not be happier to launch this site in Colombia,” he said.
José Manuel Restrepo, Colombia’s minister of commerce, industry, and tourism, celebrated the news, saying that there will be managerial-level and other good jobs. This is exactly the type of investment that the country and Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism (MinTIC) has been pushing to make happen, he said.
“Companies like Amazon raise the possibility of attracting more world-class companies and the demand Colombian services,” said Restrepo.
Globally, with roughly 566,000 workers, according to Fortune, Amazon is the world’s 10th largest private employer. With revenue of nearly $178 billion USD in 2017, it ranked 18th overall on the latest Fortune 500 list.
The increase in the company’s share value in recent years has slingshotted Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos to the spot as the richest man in modern history. He is reportedly now personally worth more than $150 billion USD, according to Bloomberg.
While the new office in Colombia is to provide service, not sell products, this marks another example of Amazon seeing promise in Latin America.