Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Turkey were the new investors in Bogota. Last year they joined companies from 24 countries that have found an opportunity to develop business in the capital. It is estimated that in 2017 they earmarked almost USD 1.4 billion for the city.
Foreign companies continue to see Bogota as a good place to invest and expand their businesses. At least, the balance of foreign investment in the capital during 2017 would seem to corroborate this, when we saw the arrival of businesses from countries that had not traditionally been reported. Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Turkey were four of those countries which, despite not having been characterized as major investors in the city, last year decided to allocate resources to open new businesses in the Colombian capital.
The arrival at the beginning of this year of H&M, the textile industry benchmark, ratified the visibility of the city for large global players and bridging the ocean between Sweden and Bogota. The Swedish company has more than 4,300 stores around the world, is part of the e-commerce of 35 markets and is the first Swedish textile project in the city. Bogota had previously received five initiatives from this country in the automotive, software and IT services, real estate, business and mining services. Skanska, a leading construction and oil industry multinational, was the first Swedish company to settle in the city in 2010.
On the Finnish side, GrandVision came to town in August and is the third project of this country to settle in the city. A global leader in optical retailing, it has more than 6,000 stores in 44 countries, and entered Colombia through the purchase of Ópticas Lafam. Prior to this, Nokia Siemens Network had arrived in the capital in 2008 and F-Secure in 2012, a software company specializing in data protection.
Of the three Scandinavian countries, Denmark has the greatest presence in the city. In the last decade it has developed 17 projects in real estate, software and IT, consumer products, entertainment, financial services, electronic industry and products. One of the cases that should be highlighted is Novo Nordisk, a health sector business that has now been in the capital for 10 years. Stibo Systems, dedicated to master data management, joined this list last May, when it opened its hub for Latin America in Bogota. The company has offices in 19 countries and has focused on emerging economies.
Another country that has strengthened its presence in Colombia is Turkey, which arrived in Bogota for the second time. The Turkish clothing manufacturing company Gygess partnered with the Colombian designer Franz Serrano to promote the Surge Franz brand from Bogota throughout Latin America. Before this venture, in 2010, Enova Trading and Energy, a mining company, had been the other company of Turkish origin that had settled in the city.
However, these are not the only non-traditional investors present in the city. Bogota has set its sights on the Asia Pacific region, whose countries are reinforcing their presence in the capital.
In 2017, China, South Korea, Japan and India increased their operations and are already among the 30 countries with the largest share in the economy of the city. With reinvestment by companies such as Huawei of China, Subaru Motor of Japan, and the arrival of the Indian pharmaceutical companies Hetero Drugs and MSN, and the strengthening of established businesses such as the Japanese firm CASTEM, which specializes in high-precision metal parts, the Korean companies Samsung and Daewoo, Asian countries have gained prominence in the pharmaceutical, software and IT, automotive, manufacturing, electronics and communications sectors.
In the last decade the Bogota region has received more than 900 new investment projects from over 50 countries, representing USD 19.7 billion and creating 115,000 new jobs, signifying a driving force in the transformation and social mobility of the city. In 2017 alone, the city received about 160 projects with an estimated investment of USD 1.4 billion.
Issuers of FDI have traditionally been the United States, Spain, France, United Kingdom and Chile, which have accounted for 57.7% of the projects. But more exotic countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland, Israel, South Africa, Thailand and Kuwait have opted for Bogota in the last 10 years, as have Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Turkey in 2017.
"In recent years Bogota has begun to attract the attention of countries that traditionally did not notice the city, and has developed new business relationships. This responds to its strategic location, its high degree of connectivity, size and economic stability and the growth of its market," explains Juan Gabriel Perez, CEO of Invest in Bogota.
He adds: "Although the biggest investors in 2017 were the United States, Spain and France, which have been traditional investors, other countries such as China and India have become more prominent and we’ve received interesting projects from countries with little previous presence in the city such as Sweden."
Taken from El Espectador
Inputs provided by Invest in Bogota