• A survey done by Invest Pacific to 85 foreign companies, both national and foreign capital, settled in Cali and in other towns of Valle del Cauca, show that 70% of these companies expect their operations to be normalized by October.
Valle del Cauca has more than 180 multinational companies present in the region- for more than 80 years- which contribute to the 47,7% of the department’s exports. In order to know the state of their operations due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, identify their needs and know the state of their investment plans, Invest Pacific, the Investment Promotion Agency of Valle del Cauca, surveyed in May the managers and representatives of these 85 multinational companies settled in the Department, from the manufacture, agribusiness and services sectors.
The results reveal that almost 80% of these companies in the region have been able to protect employment or even increase it, through multiple strategies as the acquisition of credits, government subsidies or financing from their headquarters. Also, they have turned to higher impact commercial campaigns, working from home or liquidation of labor liabilities and rotation of personnel. Only the 20% of the multinationals have had to reduce their payroll and only 7% have had to reduce salaries.
It also indicates that at least 66% of the multinational companies in the region operate with more than 60% of their capacity. Only 9% do not operate given the prohibitions imposed by the quarantine. The main productive chains that have maintained average operations levels greater than 80% with a low reduction of income (less than 20%) are the agribusiness, personal and home care, pharmaceutical and chemical substances, besides the BPO and IT services.
On the other hand, the hardest hit productive chains by the Covid-19 are construction and the metal-mechanic industry, along with the hotel and tourism sectors. For their part, industries such as processed foods, electrical appliances, paper processing and its by-products have a bittersweet moment, with severe reductions of income and productive capacity, although they are keeping themselves afloat amid this crisis.
“In Invest Pacific we have been very active supporting not only the potential investors who have showed a real interest in arriving to the region, but also all those investors already settled. To achieve this, we have intensified our promotion and attraction actions by using multiple digital tools and working in synergy with our institutions, with ProColombia, city-halls, Government of Valle del Cauca, the business network and academia to continue favoring the productivity of the region, as well as the confidence and investment environment”, highlighted Alejandro Ossa Cárdenas, Executive Director of Invest Pacific.
Re-Investment and growth, with optimism
Around 60% of the companies manifested that they had some investment plans for 2020 and, despite the Covid-19 crisis, at least 30% of these companies have continued executing normally these plans or even have performed additional investments to the ones planned. Also, 52% of the companies with investment plans, due to the Covid-19, have had to put off their investment plans and only 18% have had to call them off.
“The sectors that have continued executing their investment plans the most despite the crisis, are agribusiness, processed foods, personal and home care and IT services. For their part, those that have had to definitively putt off and call off their investment plans in their totality are electrical appliances, construction material, paper and its by-products, BPO, logistics and hotel and tourism”, added the Executive Director of Invest Pacific.
Regarding the continuity and growth plans, the majority of the companies consulted by the Agency (88%) expect that the second semester of the year will be one of recovery or even growth, and 70% expect that by October their operations will already have been normalized.
“In addition, 75% of the multinational companies in the region consider that the work of Invest Pacific is fundamental to help them with the post-pandemic economic revival. This motivate us to continue giving support, and offering the companies our response capacity, tailored information and institutional management, in order for them to keep operating and contributing to the recovery of our region”, added Ossa Cárdenas.
The direct foreign investment supported by Invest Pacific in the last nine years -operating time of the Agency- has been established in 18 municipalities of the region, contributing to their social and economic development.
Andrea del Pilar Barrero
Marketing and Communications Director