SPREAD THE LOAD

Colombia 2016 | INDUSTRY | FOCUS: THE REGIONS

Colombia's economy is not just centered on its capital city; its regions play a vital part in the livelihood of many of its citizens as well as its industry.

Barranquilla

Barranquilla has a diversified and strong metal mechanic industry that has a solid export-oriented approach. The devaluation of the peso against the dollar from 1H2015 to 2H2016 invigorated Barranquilla's foreign sales. “The depreciation is an opportunity for local players because exports are now cheaper and that brings about new opportunities for us," Mariano Ghysays, General Manager of Superbrix, explained to TBY. Superbrix currently exports 90% of its products to countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam and Ghysays believes the devaluation could trigger a medium-term reindustrialization of Colombia.

Cali

Cali is in the Valle del Cauca and in 2015 its economic activities made up 9.3% of the national GDP, according to the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE). Cali is close to the port of Buenaventura, the main Colombian port on the Pacific, which provides an excellent location for those interested in exporting to Asia. In 2015, nearly 13 different companies in the agriculture, manufacturing, metal mechanics, and automotive sectors set up their businesses in Cali. However, one of the industries with the biggest potential to thrive is the food industry, as Valle del Cauca is one of the largest sugar cane producers in Latin America. “The food and beverage industry is a great opportunity for companies to come to the region and develop or expand their business," explained General Manager of Invest Pacific Alejandro Ossa. “We have also identified opportunities in different sectors for companies that are importing many products from Asia and processing or adding value to their products, and then exporting either to Asia or to other Pacific Latin American countries," Ossa added in his interview with TBY.

Medellín

Medellín has traditionally been regarded as the second most important city in Colombia after Bogotá. Antioquia, the region to which Medellín belongs, accounts for nearly 13.5% of the country's GDP. The “Paisas," as Antioquians are known, maintain a healthy rivalry with the “Bogotanos." Medellín is widely regarded as more organized than the capital, as it is the only Colombian city that has a subway, and over the past several years it has consistently ranked among the three most innovative cities in Latin America according to the agency 2thinknow. Some of the largest Colombian companies are based in Medellín, such as Argos, Bancolombia, EPM, Nutresa, and Sura.