Cali, Colombia: an increasingly attractive destination for American companies

, Invest Pacific

Cali, Colombia: an increasingly attractive destination for American companies

  • During a week, Invest Pacific will be in Miami, Dallas and Houston promoting, along with ProColombia, the competitive advantages of Valle del Cauca (Colombian Pacific) to potential investors from technology, contact center and manufacturing industries in the United States.

  • In this way, the Investment Promotion Agency of Cali and Valle del Cauca resumes its presencial-based missions, after the pandemic.
  • The United States is one of the main foreign direct investment boosters in Cali and Valle del Cauca. In the last 10 years alone, 48 FDI projects from American companies, from the Manufacturing, Agribusiness, Technology and BPO operation sectors have arrived in this Colombian region, which have contributed to the generation of 7,381 direct jobs and USD $ 613 million in investment.

    TaskUs is one of the American companies in the BPO sector, which chose Cali in 2021 as its new contact center, leveraging the abundance of human talent and the innovative technological landscape of the city. The company is a leader in technology-based business services offering digital CX solutions, Artificial Intelligence operations and Content Security. It operates in technology centers around the world, such as the United States, the European Union, Taiwan and India.

    Encora is also established in the region, offering software engineering services with a customer-focused business model to companies in the United States and Latin America for more than 25 years. To date, Encora has nine development centers throughout Latin America, one of them located in the city of Cali since 2020.

    In the Manufacturing sector, Clarios stands out as a world leader in advanced energy storage solutions. It produces more than 150 million batteries, a third of the industry’s production, each year, and has a production plant located in Valle del Cauca since 2013, taking advantage of the region’s unique multimodal logistics platform in the Pacific to export to more than 20 countries.

    Baxter, a pharmaceutical company with more than 65 years of operation in Colombia, with extensive experience in the production of medicines and medical supplies, has its center of operations for South America in Valle del Cauca.

    To promote more investments from the United States in our city-region, Invest Pacific will develop from September 13 to 17 a presencial-based mission in Texas, focused on promoting the competitive advantages of Cali for companies belonging to the BPO and Technology sectors interested in expanding their operations. It will also explore investment opportunities with manufacturing companies. This will be the first post-pandemic face-to-face mission to attract investment.

    Invest Pacific Business Mission in Texas

    For five days, Manolo Constain, investment manager at Invest Pacific, will be leading meetings with entrepreneurs from US companies that see Valle del Cauca and its capital as important investment destinations for nearshore operations thanks to the competitive advantages it offers, such as its strategic location that facilitates connectivity with other countries, the availability of bilingual human talent, competitive costs and a wide and diverse business and institutional network that provides guarantees and confidence to the investors.

    In total,18 business meetings will be held with BPO and Technology companies, as well as with industry experts, capital funds and investment ally entities. Likewise, meetings will be held with Texas-based companies in the Metalworking and Pharmaceutical sector, Infrastructure and Energy sectors.

    Texas leads the United States in both the number of IT jobs and companies, with nearly 370,000 professionals employed directly in the industry and approximately 30,000 companies operating in the state. It has been ranked as the number one exporter of high-tech products for the past eight consecutive years. In addition, it is recognized for its growth potential in cybersecurity, which reinforces the potential of this market to explore more foreign investment in Cali and Valle del Cauca.

    The mission has the support of ProColombia, a strategic ally for the promotion of foreign direct investment to the region; and the Mayor’s Office of Cali, through its Secretary of Economic Development, a local actor that works in synergy with Invest Pacific to favor the investment and business climate in the capital of Valle del Cauca.

    Foreign Investment helps the development of the city-region

    The business missions are part of the investment attraction strategies led by Invest Pacific to promote Cali and other municipalities in Valle del Cauca as ideal destinations to attract foreign direct investment. During the pandemic, the missions continued to develop virtually. With this mission to Texas, the presencial-based visits developed by Invest Pacific are officially resumed to bring more investments to the territory.

    “Invest Pacific is in charge of identifying those sectors of the economy where Cali and Valle del Cauca have a very solid value proposition to promote the arrival of new investments that generate formal jobs and development in the region. For this reason, we continue to strengthen our strategies, in synergy with the public and private sectors, including the Mayor’s Office of Cali and ProColombia, so that more and more companies put their eyes on our territory,” highlights Alejandro Ossa, executive director of Invest Pacific.

    This is also highlighted by the Secretary of Economic Development of the Mayor’s Office of Cali, Maria Fernanda Santa, stating that “we work closely with Invest Pacific to enhance all the competitive advantages that our beloved Cali offers to favor productivity, promote social and economic development and favor the presence of multinationals that contribute to the promotion of employability and the international positioning of the city.”

    Reasons why Cali attracts foreign investment

    Cali has a strong ecosystem of local and foreign companies belonging to the BPO and information technology sectors. The city has become a competitive and attractive destination for these sectors thanks to the availability of trained and bilingual human talent that is highly demanded by national and international companies.

    Reasons that make it attractive to American BPO and technology services companies include:

  • Human resource. Its human resource is essentially young, where 28% of the city’s population, around 852,294 people, are between the ages of 18 and 35. This is the population segment that the city is betting on to nurture existing operations and those that are arriving, both in Spanish and English. It is estimated that the city-region has 180,000 inhabitants with knowledge of English and has inter-institutional initiatives to strengthen skills and respond to the demands of technology operations.

  • City-region and services. The availability of human talent is growing, since Cali is not only thought of as the capital of Valle del Cauca but also as a city-region. That is why, having more than 7 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, Cali and Valle del Cauca (Colombia) can offer different locations in cities that are also competitive for the sector that are in very similar processes of training and mapping of their bilingual human talent.

  • Infrastructure and connectivity. These advantages are combined with the infrastructure and connectivity necessary to maintain highly demanding operations. Cali (Colombia) has availability of sites for new operations and has the first exclusive free zone of services in the country and technology park, Zonamerica. In addition, it has a fairly stable internet connection being directly connected to the Pacific submarine cable and to the national optical network.

  • Quality of life. Cali is a helpful city, with a consolidated ecosystem for the sector, economies of scale, availability of bilingual human talent at competitive costs, and it has an Investment Promotion Agency, Invest Pacific, which accompanies investment entrepreneurs at all times.
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