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New investments derived from the nearshoring strategy are expected, as well as the arrival of mega-investments and anchor investors. This is the foreign investment outlook for Colombia in 2021, a year in which, according to several international organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and ECLAC, the Colombian economy will recover with a GDP variation between 4% and 5%.
"Foreign investment will be a crucial factor in economic reactivation because it is a driving force in the creation of new jobs and better quality of life in regions around the country,” said Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia.
"Along with work led by the National Government with our Compromiso por Colombia (Commitment to Colombia) strategy, which combines public and private sector efforts, we are working on a compelling country promotion campaign to attract new investments. We are taking advantage of the global commercial reconfiguration that is taking place, the relocation of multinational operations, and the advantages Colombia has over other markets in the region as a destination that offers government support, incentives, an export platform, and builds confidence for doing business,” she added.
According to Santoro, there are several sectors that will be decisive in economic reactivation this year, such as Industry 4.0, service outsourcing, agribusiness, renewable energies, tourism, infrastructure, manufacturing, and others. ProColombia expects new investments resulting from the nearshoring strategy as well as mega-investments and anchor investors.
A few days ago, the Irish multinational Smurfit Kappa announced the construction of a new corrugated packaging plant in Guarne, Antioquia with an investment of US $50 million, which will begin in the first quarter of 2021. This will create more quality jobs in the region, during the construction phase (around 354 direct and indirect jobs), and with the expansion of its production capacity. It will also build up its packaging solutions portfolio for the mass consumption, industrial, agricultural (including flowers and bananas), and other sectors.
The agri-food multinational Pepsico will also develop a new production plant in Guarne in 2021 that is expected to begin operations in 2022. US $93 million will be invested in this project, which will provide nearly 400 jobs. The U.S.-based company also recently invested US $65 million in the expansion of its operation in Funza, Cundinamarca to increase its production capacity.
In March of this year, work is expected to begin on Arena del Río, a facility for events and concerts in Barranquilla, with an investment of US $407 million and the creation of more than 9,000 jobs. This complex, which is to be inaugurated in 2024, will include a multi-event stage, a 500-room hotel, and 100 apartments. It is considered the first of its kind in Latin America, receiving investments from the firms Two Way Stadiums and Umusic Hotels.
Canadian multinational Talent.com, formerly Nuevoo, with operations in 79 countries, is the world’s second largest online job search engine with more than 80 million visitors per month. The company’s technological support for its entire global operation is located in Medellín, employing local software developers, engineers, and programmers. The firm, which is
seeking to double its payroll this year to 200 positions, and 400 in 2022, expects to reinvest between US $5 million and US $10 million over the next two years.
European capital funds such as Buysse & Partners and Andes Plus Impact I stated that Colombia will be in their business plans for 2021. The former will allocate 30% of its investments in Latin America to projects in Colombia in sectors such as agribusiness, manufacturing, and services. Andes Plus Impact I has US $20 million in capital to benefit inclusive and encompassing SMEs serving vulnerable populations in Colombia.
In addition to those mentioned above, ProColombia and the regional investment agencies, Apris, are expecting important investments in segments such as BPO, software and IT, renewable energies, manufacturing, real estate and construction, and medicinal cannabis