Juan Pablo Romero

General Manager, Parque Arauco Colombia

If you compare the square meter per person ratio in Colombia to other countries, there is an opportunity. There is space to build more shopping centers. However, if you compare that to the GDP per capita, it is different and it is probably not the opportunity that you might wish. We have around 15 shopping malls in Chile, Peru, and Colombia. We began operations in Colombia in 2008 with the shopping center in Pereira called Parque Arboleda. It was the first one, and we opened it to the public in November 2010. It has been operating for two years now and so far performed as we expected. However, we have an increasing number of competitors. I am confident in the stability of the country from a legal perspective and also the security and macroeconomic perspectives. GDP is growing at a sustainable rate and the GDP per capita is increasing as well. The middle class is growing, which in turn increases purchasing power. From a legal perspective, the opportunities and macroeconomics give me confidence. Colombia has three or four financial capitals and there are 10 cities with more than 500,000 people. If you have that amount of people, it is significant and there are opportunities. Additionally, there are other cities in Colombia between 250,000 and 500,000 people with no shopping malls. There is also another opportunity for a different kind of shopping center.

Juanita Gutiérrez Cárdenas

General Manager, Santafé Centro Comercial

Shopping centers in Colombia are different from malls elsewhere; each store is owned by an investor that then rents the space to a brand. It is not individually owned as in many other countries such as the US. In Santafé Centro Comercial, we have around 400 owners that gather regularly, and then we have a board that is directly elected by them, who at the same time elects the manager of the mall. This is a non-profit organization in which all the actors have completely different targets, missions, and prospects. We do not seek profit, and revenues come mainly from two sources: a common administration fee that enables us to keep the building clean, secure, and upgraded, and a marketing contribution that everyone pays in order to promote the shopping center. In addition, we also sell advertisements in common areas in order to generate extra revenue. Therefore, economic revenue is not an issue at all for us. However, I can tell you that we are doing fine in terms of profit. We are trying to make Santafé Centro Comercial more accessible to people. We are working on a project on El Pobablo Avenue in Medellín to make it more accessible for cars. In addition, we created a free parking not long ago, which positively contributed to increase the overall number of visitors. In 2012, it was historical in terms of economic performance and sales.

Felipe Cobo Guevara

General Manager, Mall Plaza

The rapid growth and economic development of Colombia, along with the increasing levels of security, has contributed to bringing social and economic stability to the country. Such factors have generated a new business environment in Colombia that has both national and foreign investors very excited. We clearly feel such an environment. In addition, Colombia has started to show its real potential to the entire world. If we compare Colombia to a market such a Chile, we find that the former has three times the population, a wider network of large cities and towns (over 500,000 inhabitants) across the country, and a richer cultural diversity. The Colombian middle class is rapidly expanding, which also brings the incorporation of many SMEs into the formal business environment. Altogether, we talk about key factors for the development of our activity and the services Mall Plaza offers. We talk about the current and future attractiveness for investors. In terms of figures, between 15% and 20% of the retail and entertainment sales in the country take place in shopping malls, which means that there is room to keep growing the sector as society continues increasing its purchasing power. For example, in markets similar to Colombia, the figure I mentioned before stands at around 30%. Therefore, the sector offers huge opportunities, and from our company we aim to continue expanding our portfolio by grabbing some of these opportunities.