At 7 am and full of expectations, the delegation of 45 international guests arrived at the Alfonso Bonilla Aragon Airport, “Foreign Investment Influencers” representing 25 countries, were honor guests at the event: “Learning about Valle del Cauca’s business potential” which aims to introduce the value proposition of the region.
Alejandro Ossa, Invest Pacific Executive Director, opened the event welcoming all attendees, while stating the purpose to “Charm them with Valle del Cauca”, passing on to them “…the passion to serve and kindness of its people”. Also to encourage all guests to use the visit as a time to strengthen their relationship with the business network Valle offers them while diversifying their understanding of the Region and Country they visit. Ossa emphasized the six reasons why Valle del Cauca stands out and invited them to explore such items that make it a strategic place for foreign investment. Regarding Invest Pacific, Alejandro Ossa stated its support as an ally to all such international companies searching to invest in Valle del Cauca.
The Department has been benefited by the investment of foreign companies, but according to Esteban Piedrahita, Chair of Cali’s Chamber of Commerce, and one of the event’s supporters, it is the companies that actually find benefit from such a diverse region in terms of culture, economy, and bio-business with a homogeneous and balanced development and the platform of permanent Free Trade Zones. The privileged location of Valle del Cauca enables to assist the local and national market as well as the exports to Latin-American Countries.
On the first day the agenda was thought for two of the three business models, the visit focused on: Bio-Business and Shared Services. Valle del Cauca is a great national producer of bioenergy from biomass, and one of the most important national producers of white protein (pig farming), fruits, coffee, poultry farming, pulp, paper and cardboard, all important added value by-products from the Region’s biodiversity with environmental, social and economic sustainability criteria.
The International Center for Tropical Agriculture CIAT* (by its acronym in Spanish) was the place chosen to introduce the benefits Valle del Cauca offers international companies with for the development of “Business for the future”. Carlos Andrés Pérez, Financial Director of Cali’s Chamber of Commerce addressed the audience on the importance of Bio-Business and their evolution in the region for the last years, highlighting that: “Bio-Business are the best way to keep growing and providing for the needs of the population, while preserving our surrounding”.
The day’s program introduced 4 success cases on the Bio-Business model of the region. Arrocera La Esmeralda, a very important actor within the rice market, led by its Director – José Manuel Suso, highlighted Valle del Cauca’s infrastructure as a key element for its business development. On the other hand, Emmanuel Landa, General Manager at Agrogenesis from Peru, emphasized the region’s human quality, values, punctuality, and desire to work.
Federico de Vries, Director of Yara Supply Chain for Latin America, referred to the importance of Land Transportation and the connectivity of the region with the rest of Colombia as one of its distinctive features; while Celsia, Incauca, and Carvajal pointed at the life quality Valle del Cauca provides not only to the locals but also as a place of open arms to new talents from all the Country and the world as well.
After a visit to Celsia’s solar farm, the governor Dilian Francisca Toro Torres welcomed a delegation with a luncheon at the Intercontinental Hotel in Cali. After a greeting meeting by Alejandro Zaccour, Chair of Invest Pacific Directive Council, the governor enlightened guests with the context of the three pillars for Valle del Cauca Development Plan: Equality and Fight against poverty, Territorial peace and a Productive and Competitive Region. “It is important to invest in Valle because its economy represents 10% of the national GDP while barely hosting 10% of Colombia’s population” Furthermore, the governor underlined the department’s distinctive factors “it has the best road infrastructure of the Country, a superior human capital, and a cultural and ethnic diversity that nourishes the locals’ creativity”.
At the time of issuing this newsletter, all guests were attending the Shared Services Centers lecture, were they learned about the experiences of companies such as DirecTV, Colgate Palmolive, Carvajal Technology and Services, and Zonamerica. Further coverage of the segment will be provided on the next issue.