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Foreign Direct Investment generates quality jobs and contributes to Bogota’s economic development

May 01, 2014
  • Bogota is the Colombian city with the greatest capacity to meet the workforce needs of companies making foreign direct investment.
  • One of the main factors for the Capital Region’s competitiveness today is its skilled labor force that is available for employment in value-added sectors.
  • Companies with foreign capital operating in Bogota have generated over 15,000 direct jobs in the city.
  • The following sectors are generating the most employment in Bogota: contact center services and business process outsourcing (BPO); hospitality and tourism; ICT and software development; and light manufacturing.
  • The businesses that generate most employment in Bogotá come from Spain, Argentina and the United States.
  • In Latin America, nearly 1 million people have benefitted from the creation of jobs associated with foreign investment projects over the last three years.

Companies with foreign capital supported by Invest in Bogota have generated more than 15,000 direct jobs in Bogota since the Capital’s investment promotion agency began operations in 2007.
 
Juan Gabriel Pérez, CEO of Invest in Bogota says, “Investments supported by the Agency are primarily in value-added sectors that favor the city’s economic development, encourage the creation of qualified employment, and support the transfer of both technology and know-how. Of the jobs created, 59.5% have been in contact center services and business process outsourcing (BPO); 10.6% in hospitality and tourism; and 9.7% in ICT and software development. Furthermore, creation of jobs in light manufacturing has been important, with exactly 555 new jobs in the building materials sector, 272 in cosmetics, and 91 in pharmaceuticals.
 
On average, each investment project supported by Invest in Bogota generates 113 jobs. Of these projects, the companies that create the most jobs originate in Spain (33.9%), Argentina (13.6%), and the U.S. (12.3%). Between 2012 and 2013, the total number of jobs generated by companies supported by Invest in Bogota increased by 30.3%. 
 
Moreover, to contribute to the competitiveness of the city and the creation of quality jobs, Invest in Bogota has collaborated with the Ministry of Economic Development for developing and consolidating a Covenant for Decent Employment in ITO (Information Technology Outsourcing) & BPO, in which the Mayor and representatives of the private sector are significantly involved. These covenants are an instrument of the District Employment Policy and are aimed at reducing economic segregation with the help of businesses that create quality jobs. Thanks to the work of Invest in Bogota, domestic and foreign companies have engaged in the development of Bogota and its citizens.”
 
Pérez continues, “Bogota is the Colombian city with the greatest capacity to meet the workforce needs of companies making foreign direct investment. For example, Bogota’s business process outsourcing sector, an outstanding sector in terms of foreign investment, employs over 55,000 of the 73,000 people who work in this sector across the country.”
 
The Director of the Agency adds, “One of the Capital Region’s main factors of competitiveness today is its qualified workforce that is readily available for employment in value-added sectors. In Bogota, over 100,000 people graduate annually from higher education of all types. Additionally, the city has 44% of within Colombia’s the PhDs and over 33% of the country’s technicians and technologists.”

Characteristics and dynamics of the creation of jobs associated with FDI in Latin America

In Latin America, nearly 1 million people benefited from the creation of jobs associated with foreign investment projects during the last three years. Within the region, Brazil has benefited most from job creation by foreign companies, receiving about 32% of the jobs created in Latin America, followed by Mexico (29%), Argentina (6.8%), and Colombia (6.7%).

 
By sector, much of the jobs stemming from FDI are concentrated in medium-value-added areas and labor-intensive sectors such as metals, food, textiles, business and financial services, real estate, consumer products, among others. However, it is also important to note the growth in FDI projects observed in Latin America in high-value-added sectors such as biotechnology (166%, in the last three years), life sciences (23%), electronics components (15%), and chemicals (7%).

Labor market profile of Bogota, Colombia and Latin America

Bogota is home to 20% of the employed population of Colombia, followed by Medellin (8%), Cali (5%), and Barranquilla (4%) (data for the December 2013/February 2014 quarter of the Major Comprehensive Household Survey of the DANE).
 
The employment rate of Bogota is the highest among the country’s major cities (64.9%), followed by Medellin (58.9%), Cali (56.6%), and Barranquilla (54.3%) (data for the December 2013/February 2014 quarter from the Major Comprehensive Household Survey of the DANE).
 
Jobs in Bogota are mainly concentrated in the following sectors: trade, hotels, and restaurants (30.9%); personal, social, and community services (21.5%); and manufacturing (15.2%) (data for the December 2013/February 2014 quarter from the Major Comprehensive Household Survey of the DANE).
 
According to an analysis conducted by the Market Research and Intelligence unit of Invest in Bogota, the city has a workforce of over 4.4 million people, higher than regional competitors such as Santiago (3.4 million), Panama City (960,000), and Quito (824,000).