Are you looking for the next land of opportunity? Does talk of massive government debt, bankruptcies, foreclosures and unemployment have you singing the blues? Escapeartist is about to provide you with an insider tip to the next ‘in’ location. We are talking about a location where all the smart money is moving to, a country vast with resources, a beautiful culture and probably the most attractive women on planet earth. (It’s true) –
Names like Sam Zell (Billionaire) and Carlos Slim (Billionaire) and many others are investing in Colombia right now. Why are they investing? Why are tourism rates in Colombia skyrocketing? Why is the Colombian stock market returning double digit returns? Why is Colombia leading the Latin American rim in attracting foreign direct investment?
Escapeartist has the insider scoop on Colombia and we are going global with it! – We were on the front lines of Costa Rica, Belize, Dominican Republic, Argentina and NOW Colombia!
Escapeartist has partnered with Investment Group Colombia to provide our readers with authoritative articles that are written by Escapeartist readers who actually live the Colombia Escapeartist Dream right now. Escapeartist over the next few months will be providing special coverage of Colombia and we will be getting the truth from the ‘frontline’ early adopters, the market mavens, pioneers of the international Colombia lifestyle!
Our intention is to create a tsunami of awareness for Colombia over the next year and you are getting the very first newsletter that we have published on Colombia – Nothing like being at the right place at the right time… right before 15 million people learn about this beautiful country – Colombia is Passion!
Please enjoy the first of three Special Edition Colombia Ezine – This month we covered Bogota, in March we will cover Medellin and in April we will feature the romantic ciudad of Cartagena.
Now, go on and get your insider tip and learn more about Investing in the rapid growth of Colombia
Long considered the pariah of western civilization for its participation in the illegal drug trade and the accompanying violence, Colombia has had some major hurdles to jump in finding acceptance in the world marketplace. And while the race may not yet be won (…it never truly is!), the hurdles have been cleared and Colombia has emerged as a major contender in the direct foreign investment (DFI) market. Investment Group Colombia, in its continuing dedication and commitment to bringing our clients and friends the true hard facts about Colombia, feels that Colombia is right now on the brink of highly profitable and sound investment opportunity, with the best yet to come.
It is with enthusiastic and confident prejudice that Investment Group Colombia recommends your close scrutiny and consideration in acting upon one or more of the many excellent investment opportunities that Colombia has to offer.
“Why Colombia,” you may ask? …past legacy considered, a very good and logical question!
As one of the emerging CIVETS countries, Colombia has become known in both America and abroad as THE country with the best infrastructure, and social and business acumen necessary for rapid, stable economic growth and development. CIVETS (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa) are, in HSBC CEO Michael Geoghegan’s words:
“Countries with major populations, dynamic, diverse economies, political stability and each of them have a brilliant future. Any company with global ambitions will have to take immediate action in these markets.”
Colombia leads the CIVETS group not only by alphabet, but also by virtue of past performance, present status, and future projections.
In spite of its past legacy, Colombia has continually been recognized for its unusual and notable economic stability, with GDP growth remaining constant for over seventy years. Colombia has also controlled inflation, never experiencing hyperinflation. Colombia’s stability has been marked by single digit inflation since 1999.
Colombian exports tripled in the last six years, growing from 13 million dollars in 2003 to 32 million dollars in 2009. During that same time frame, tourism in Colombia grew from 668 thousand visitors in 2003 to 1.7 million visitors in 2009. While tourism worldwide fell by 4%, in Colombia it increased to 10.2% in 2009… all during a global recession.
Labor wise, multinational companies consider Colombian managers to be the best in the region. According to PriceWaterHouseCooper, Colombia possesses… “The most productive workforce in South America.”
The International Institute for Management Development (IMD), a world recognized nonprofit business school located in Lausanne, Switzerland, adds that with the lowest Index on rigidity of employment in Latin America, Colombia’s labor regulations are the least restrictive to business activities, and that Colombia has the second most qualified labor force available in the region. Known particularly for their rapidly emerging technology work force, with 27,000 business graduates and 13,000 engineering graduates per year, Colombia graduates more IT and engineering students than any other country in the region. Coupled with low labor costs, each of the above facts creates an atmosphere of profitability for both investors and business developers.
Geographic location provides an advantage as well. Located just a little over three hours from Miami via air, Colombia falls within the same time zone as the US eastern seaboard. Additionally, Colombia possesses seaports on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, reducing shipping costs by an average 30% over other South American competitors. Having Free Trade Agreements (FTA) and International Investment Agreements (IIA) with 48 countries, and Double Taxation Agreements (DTA) with 22 countries further enhances the ability to participate in the worldwide business market with increased ease and profitability. As of 2010, these agreements have created preferred access to over 1.5 billion additional consumers.
Among the greatest reasons for investing in Colombia however, are the incredible business and investment incentives and opportunities that are offered by the Colombian government. “Investment Incentives” are differentiated from “Investment Opportunities” in that Investment Incentives are essentially tools used to encourage, simplify and facilitate establishing and operating mainstream businesses. These incentives are available to nearly all new and existing businesses across the board. “Investment Opportunities,” on the other hand, are specific opportunities identified and supported by the government with the goals being to increase quantity and quality in production and to promote the development of new and emerging sectors of business. For foreign investors, the ramifications here can be enormous!
Central and instrumental to investment activity in Colombia is Proexport Colombia. Long leading the way in providing the research, education, legal clarifications, and consultation needed by the foreign investor, Proexport Colombia currently has offices in 19 countries. A partial list of services offered includes market opportunity identification, assistance with company internationalization, designing action plans and market penetration strategies, establishing contact between buyers and sellers, and providing specialized services to foreign companies interested in acquiring Colombian goods or services.
The core of their mission is to:
“Increase Colombian non-traditional exports, international tourism and foreign investment to Colombia, through a systematic sales process and a partnership work relationship with companies to enable the generation, follow-up and closing of business opportunities in international markets.”
Truly a world-class organization, Proexport Colombia is an outstanding resource for the foreign investor, being recognized and awarded 16th place on the list of best investment promotion agencies in the world.
Drafted and put into action in order to encourage investment, simplify business start-up and operation, and to increase employment, the “Investment Incentives” program has had a profound effect on the Colombian economy. Some of the highlights in the incentive program are the most competitive Free Trade Zones in all of Latin America (two types of FTZ’s!), low 15% income tax (even less for tourism and environmentally related businesses!) and local market selling, 100% deduction of property taxes, signage, and billboards that are directly related to the taxpayer’s economic activity, 125% income tax deduction for investments in science and technology, 200% income tax deduction of salaries and benefits for handicapped employees, “Plan Vallejo,” allowing service exporting companies to import capital goods exempt from custom duties and sales tax (VAT), and Legal Stability Agreements lasting from 3 to 20 years, assuring the investor that the laws and incentives that prompted them to invest will not be modified or changed.
In contrast, while at the same time being supplemental, the “Investment Opportunities” program was developed as part of the Productive Transformation Policy drafted by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism. With its focus being on more specific business opportunities that the Colombian government wishes to support and promote, the investor stands to reap an even larger profit. Some of the “focus fields” or emerging sectors identified in this program are bio fuels, cosmetics, IT services, tourism, and medical tourism. Each of these emerging sectors has been given their own set of incentives, from tax deductions to leniency in licensure and permits to government subsidization. Based on current needs, sustained and expanding future demand, locally available resources, and having a qualified work-force, each of these emerging sectors hold tremendous potential and opportunity for the investor.
When one considers all of the extraordinary opportunities and incentives offered by the Colombian government, along with the benefits of geographical location, climate, and cultural richness, it is clear to see that Colombia truly is an outstanding opportunity that the serious investor should not let slip by. Investment Group Colombia confidently encourages you–our client, friend, and investor–to give immediate consideration to investing in Colombia.
If you would like more information about the exciting and rewarding opportunities of visiting, living, or investing in Colombia, please request our Investors Guide to Colombia by CLICKING HERE.