With the promise of more jobs, the Western Free Trade Zone was extended for 30 years.
western free zone

With the promise of more jobs, the Western Free Trade Zone was extended for 30 years.

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Its objective is to increase the number of jobs from 7,800 to 23,000, which will imply investments of 500 million dollars. Mosquera and its area of influence will benefit the most.

In the midst of growing electoral uncertainty, which has put several businesses on hold while the country's new government is defined, the entrepreneurs of the Western Free Trade Zone, located in Mosquera Cundinamarca, presented a plan to make a primary investment of 33.6 billion pesos over the next 10 years and another 500 million dollars between now and 2051. This was enough for the Ministry of Commerce to extend their operation.

Free trade zones are geographic spaces in which several companies are established for the purpose of exporting products or services, in exchange for which they receive tax benefits. From time to time, the government reviews whether they are complying with their promises and, depending on the result, decides to extend the tax concessions for a longer period of time.

In the case of theWestern Free Trade Zone, which has been in existence for 11 years, there are 41 users and more than nine companies that provide services to them. All of them have committed themselves to make investments to increase employment generation, innovation and technology. To this end, they submitted investment letters to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

This Free Trade Zone employs 7,800 people directly and indirectly and the goal is to reach 23,000 directly and 50,000 indirectly in 10 years. Rosa María Gamarra, general manager of this industrial park, also points out that they are very committed to generating job opportunities for the inhabitants of the Bogotá savannah and to continuing to promote the development of Mosquera; not in vain is this one of the municipalities in the country with the lowest unemployment. A virtuous circle is also foreseen in which industrial demand will lead to a better qualified workforce, which in turn will support the development of industry and the growth of skilled labour supply.

Trade allies

"We want to continue to be an important pole for the economic development of the country and the region, as well as encouraging exports, generating employment and investment. This extension has been a result of the trust, contribution and responsibility of the entire team and the users that make up the park. It is a decision that positions Colombia as a strategic ally in international trade and delivers a message of legal certainty to investors," explains Gamarra.

"We want to continue to be an important pole for the economic development of the country and the region, as well as encouraging exports, generating employment and investment. This extension has been a result of the trust, contribution and responsibility of the entire team and the users that make up the park. It is a decision that positions Colombia as a strategic ally in international trade and delivers a message of legal certainty to investors," explains Gamarra.

Another objective of the extension is to increase the number of users of this Free Trade Zone; in fact, by 2022 they aspire to bring adatacenter, which would be the first in Mosquera . They also plan to develop a food cluster in the region, to complement their current offer, which includes health, pharmaceutical and chemical companies, plastics, technology and infrastructure.

Good year

After the difficulties of 2020, the current year has been very positive for the Western Free Trade Zone. As of November, customs operations showed a growth of 71.15% and totalled 107,400.

Gamarra attributes this result to the work of the team, which included helping some users who in 2020 were on the verge of bankruptcy, as well as good planning, which helped them to overcome the obstacles generated by the national strike and the so-called container crisis. On this front, they will seek to be an ally of the government in negotiations with shipping companies and ports, since 80% of the goods and merchandise transported in and out of the country are transported by sea.

In Colombia there are 120 free trade zones in 22 departments, of which six have already obtained extensions to continue operating.

The manager of the Western Free Trade Zone assures that the free trade regime, whose regulations were adjusted in March this year, is the best bet for the country's development, as it offers a competitive legal framework. For 2002, she predicts that it will be able to repeat this year's growth rate.

Taken from: Semana Magazine

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