16 de April 2012

Bogotá leads Spanish investment in Colombia

  • Spanish investment in Bogotá represents 84% of the total Spanish investment in Colombia since 2000.

Bogotá has an important and increasing presence of Spanish investment; it represents 84% of the total investment of the Iberian country in Colombia since 2000. Our country is currently the fourth destination of Spanish investment in Latin America, after Brazil, Mexico and Chile. Recently, the Spanish president Mariano Rajoy considered Colombia as one of the best countries of the region for investment. Also, Spanish investors consider Colombia as the country with the most commercial visibility in the region, according to the IE Business School of Madrid.

Adriana Suárez, Invest in Bogota Executive Director declared: “what motivated the increase of investment is the cooling of the developed economies, the recession that Europe is going through, mainly Spain, and the incomparable potential offered by the emerging economies of Latin America, that start being under the radar of investors that would not previously consider our countries”.

Suárez also said that the cultural affinity and the common language with countries of Latin America are just two of the aspects that place Spain as a privileged country in relationship with other European countries, when doing businesses in Latin America.

Spanish companies that have entered into the Colombian market during the last years are mainly from sectors such as business process outsourcing (BPO), technology and information technology (IT), tourism and services for the petroleum and gas industry. The Invest in Bogota Executive Director added: “approximately 62% of the Spanish investors in Colombia consider that they will maintain or increase their investment in the country in 2012, which is significant, because only Brazil shares this qualification as a desired destination”.

Success  Stories

Solalia, a Madrilenian IT company that develops software, conducted a market research to determine the viability of commercializing its products and services related to video-collaboration and security and audit for data access. The research concluded that the moment is ideal due to the maturity in technology and regulation aspects (The Act for the Protection of Data has an impending approval) among others.

In this regard, Sergio Sacanell de Carlo, Director of Solalia, declares: “Solalia, in the search for new business possibilities, analyzed several countries with an emerging economy with the purpose of developing new markets. Colombia, and more specifically its capital, Bogotá, was one of the first alternatives, if not the first one, for various reasons: language, economic situation, level of technology, institutional support and existing personal relations. (…) Besides the support of the Instituto de Comercio Exterior Español (ICEX) (International Commerce Institute of Spain), under the help for exports of the PIPE program, Solalia has had the help of other organizations, such as Invest in Bogota, which have greatly facilitated all the tasks related to starting the activity of the company, from assistance with the proceedings and regulations, to linking with third parties (associations, providers of services, etc.)”

Likewise, other Spanish companies of the sectors that are priority for Bogotá have established operations in the city, attracted by its access to markets, location, work force, competitive costs, operating and business environment and standard of living. These companies include Psicotec (human resource management and outsourcing), Grupo Konecta y Avanza (contact services and value added outsourcing). From 2009, Invest in Bogota has brought to the city 9 investments from Spain in the following sectors: BPO (2), contact centers (2), IT (2), real estate (1), tourism infrastructure (1) and professional services (1).

 Presidential Visit

Mariano Rajoy, president of Spain, will visit Bogotá on April 19, in order to attend the Foro de Inversiones y Cooperación Empresarial España-Colombia (Colombia-Spain Investment and Business Cooperation Forum), which has the purpose of promoting Spanish investment in the Colombian market. Main target sectors are: telecommunications, services, IT and construction. Spaniards are also interested in other activities such as establishing alliances with local companies or investing in public infrastructure.