According to a recent survey done by ProColombia and Colombia’s regional investment promotion agencies (IPAs) to 229 foreign companies that have their operations in the country, almost unanimously, all are still considering Colombia a strategic investment destination.
The “National Perception Survey to Investors” organized by promotion agencies such as ACI Medellín, Invest in Armenia, Invest in Pereira, Invest in Santander, Invest in Cartagena, Invest in Cesar, Invest in Santa Marta, Invest Pacific and ProBarranquilla, led by ProColombia and Invest in Bogota, was carried out with the aim of understanding the perception of the companies regarding the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as the strategies they have adopted in order to continue their operations in the country.
The study revealed that 66% of the surveyed businesspeople were optimistic regarding the operations of their companies in the country, while 30% feel the same in respect to the performance of the economy in general. Regarding the impact that the Covid-19 has had on the operations of these multinational companies, 89% of the surveyed companies manifested they are still operating, with 80% are operating with at least 50% of their installed capacity.
Another conclusion of the survey is that the majority of the surveyed businessmen (79%) consider that the measures implemented by Colombia’s national government contribute to the mitigation of the impact and the reactivation of the economy.
“These results demonstrate that Colombia is still appealing for the investors. Efficient foreign investment is one of the essential instruments in the current crisis, not only because it increases the exports, but because it creates job opportunities and boost the economy. That is why we work on three areas to promote the arrival of more investors: investment facilitation and business environment tools; relocation of companies that look for a new organization in their supply chains and efficiencies when leaving other places; and sector and regional incentives,” said José Manuel Restrepo, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.
“We want to spread a message of support and of deep respect to the foreign investors and Colombian businesspeople. They can have the absolute confidence that, with the leadership of President Iván Duque and aligned with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, we are working with conviction and commitment in favor of the business network of the country. We are convinced we are going to overcome this challenge all together. Having your optimism, commitment and support is essential in order to continue forward with confidence,” said Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia.
The surveyed businesspeople were corporate leaders primarily from the United States (24%), France (9%) Spain (8%) and Mexico (7%), and hail from manufacturing, IT services, processed foods, BPO and shared services sectors.
According to the study, more than half of the leaders surveyed have considered or have already adjusted in their business models. The main changes that the current crisis have brought are related to the development of new business lines, the use of electronic channels for the management and reduction of operational costs.
Also, 69% of the surveyed businesspeople say that their companies have found opportunities in the crisis, especially in the BPO and shared services, technology services, and medical devices sectors.
Teleperformance is one example as an international company with more than 330,000 employees globally and present in 80 countries. In Colombia, the contact center operator has operations in Bogotá, Medellín, Tunja and Barranquilla. “The near future gives us hope when seeing a clear opportunity of capitalizing opportunities in the market that would allow us to demonstrate how the Colombia DNA is made to adapt to big challenges,” said Andrés Bernal, regional CEO of Teleperformance in Colombia, Guyana & Peru.
There are four regional versions of the survey in which the information is broadly presented from Bogotá (Invest in Bogota), the Central Region (ACI Medellín, Invest in Armenia, Invest in Pereira and Invest in Santander), the Caribbean Region (Invest in Cartagena, Invest in Cesar, Invest in Santa Marta and ProBarranquilla) and the Pacific Region (Invest Pacific).
Read the results of the National Investor Perception Survey here.