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Japanese businessmen interested in learning about the comparative advantages of Bogota

February 10, 2017

Thanks to the initial investment of Castem, a Japanese company that manufactures high precision metal parts, other Japanese companies have shown interest in Bogota as a possible hub in Latin America.

Bogota D.C., February 6, 2016. The opening of Castem’s production plant in Cota caught the attention of 14 Japanese businessmen who visited it at the end of October 2016 to evaluate investment options.

The entrepreneurs were representatives of ten specialized manufacturing companies: Asahi kinzoku kogyo, Teknia, C-Com, Fuji Electronics Industry, Nc Network, Sanmatsu, Di-Nikko Engineering and Rotze Corporation. They are engaged in the production of high precision parts for the aviation, aerospace, railway, chemical and mining, electronic tools, computer and robotics industries.

The Japanese businessmen held meetings with Invest in Bogota, the capital’s foreign investment promotion agency and ProColombia, to hear about the competitive advantages of Bogota, such as the availability of human talent, its economic strength and its ability to be a strategic place to attend priority markets in North America and Europe, thanks to its excellent location and connectivity.

"Bogota has all the features to be a center of production and distribution for the whole region for many foreign companies, especially high-tech, a category that is prioritized due to its high impact on the city," says Juan Gabriel Pérez, CEO of Invest in Bogota. "This mission and Castem’s investment are in response to Invest in Bogota’s proactive efforts to encourage more companies to come and transfer technology, knowledge and innovation to the city-region," he adds.

They also visited the facilities of Hino Motors and Castem Colombia, to hear about their experiences as investors in Bogota and toured Intexzona, the free zone where Castem is located to understand the supply of infrastructure to open production plants, as well as the benefits that are offered for locating in these special areas.

Castem came to Colombia in search of the best location in Latin America to supply the US market. "The quality of the workforce and the availability of skilled technicians in the metallurgy field, as well as the income tax and export incentives offered by the free zone regime, were some of the reasons why we chose Bogota" explains Takuo Toda, CEO of Castem Co., Ltd.

Castem Colombia began operations in Bogota last year with a total investment of USD 4.2 million in a plant of 2,600 m2. This is the first plant outside Asia, since the company has points in the Philippines and Thailand, and now Colombia.

Between 2003 and 2016 Colombia has received 28 Japanese investment projects for approximately USD 876 million, creating more than 2,700 jobs. Bogota is the favorite destination for Japanese investment, with 16 projects totaling USD 184 million and creating 650 jobs.

50% of the Japanese investment that has come to Bogota since 2003 has been in the automotive sector, followed by the pharmaceutical sector, with 19%, and financial services, with 18%.

Japan is the Asian country that has most invested in Bogota for the aforementioned period, followed by China (USD 91.6 million), India (USD 80.55 million), South Korea (USD 36.9 million) and Thailand (USD 20 million).