Buenaventura’s port: second day protagonist of the international visit, Invest Pacific
24 November 2017

To close the event’s first day “Learning about Valle del Cauca’s Business Potential” the 45 guests from 25 Countries enjoyed the experience of Shared Services Centers, a model that centralizes enterprises’ functions to achieve efficiencies and maximize resources within their business units.

4 success cases of national and foreign companies were introduced, looking at Valle del Cauca as the ideal place to settle. DirecTV, Carvajal Technology and Services, Colgate Palmolive and Zonamerica. Human quality of the locals, growth possibilities, very well trained human talent and work force availability, connectivity and infrastructure, proximity to the International Airport, and flexible or similar time zones to United States and Europe, were some of the argued reasons.

Zonamerica, pointed at the well trained human factor as one of the key considerations to bet on Valle del Cauca and to build here the most ambitious project for Shared Services Center of the region. Colgate Palmolive, DirecTV, and Carvajal Technology and Services also brought out two common elements: Availability and low rotation of the human resource, vital elements for the consolidation of new 4.0 industries. The cases pointed at the excellent geographic location to establish contingency and redundancy operations, as well as connectivity ensured through the Pacific Caribbean Cable System. 

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Mr. Maurice Armitage, Cali’s Mayor, closed the night with a cocktail for the guests at the Coltabaco building and highlighted the city’s life quality virtues: “Weather is excellent, cost of life affordable, a pleasant city with plenty universities”.

Friday morning, the delegation went to Buenaventura to experience Productive and Exporting Platforms as the third part of the event’s focus. With a guided visit to the most important maritime port of Colombia, Alejandro Ossa, Invest Pacific Executive Director, highlighted the region’s exporting potential for a wide range of products.

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Deninson Mendoza, The Financial Development Secretary for the Governor’s Office, introduced Buenaventura’s Economic Activity Network CAEB* (by its acronym in Spanish), an ongoing ambitious innovative project aiming to make Buenaventura a world-class city. The project started eight years ago with the priority of a long term planning for a port city.  

Three of the four port export platforms in Buenaventura, showed their experiences as investors in Valle del Cauca. TCBuen, a Danish Enterprise highlighted the importance of the region’s land proximity with important cities in the rest of the Country. Although being an international company, its more than 900 local shareholders give the company a sense of belonging. It was also emphasized the region’s companies’ responsibility to social and environmental preservation for a good surrounding.

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For Gustavo Florez from Buenaventura’s Port Association, the department’s most important factor is the quick access from and to the region, which enables the possibility to offer clients in the Country and abroad with international standard products and services. Alejandro Sinisterra, Financial Vice Chair at Aguadulce Port Association, supported the initiative for this sort of international visit to promote investment in Valle del Cauca and the Pacific Region.

All guests had the chance to visit the bay and see the different port operators before continuing with the day’s schedule.  Then, Baxter, Smurfit Kappa and Unilever took the floor to speak about why they chose Valle del Cauca for their national and Latin American operation; among other reasons the three multinational settled in the region due to its proximity to the port, which is vital for the export and import of their products. Smurfit Kappa also mentioned they entered Colombia through Medellin and then found that Valle del Cauca was the perfect spot to settle given the Cauca river flow, power generation and the quality of local human resource.

This way the visit to the most important port of the Country ended. Back in Cali, the guests attended Delirio, one of Valle del Cauca’s most iconic cultural shows. 

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