In Colombia, the Free Trade Zone regime has brought great benefits and social development to the regions where they are located.
Since this model was implemented in the country more than 60 years ago, they have evolved through new international trends and have been accompanied by a legal framework that has paved the way for our country to be a radar for world-class investors today.
In fact, it is a sector that has a workforce of more than 136,000 jobs and which, in the last decade, has generated around $48 billion in executed investments. In Mosquera, for example, since we started our operation, investments of more than 184 billion pesos have been made, generating more than 7,800 direct and indirect jobs in the region and in the country.
Thus, measures taken by the national government, such as extending the term of the declaration to 30 years for permanent free trade zones, have sent a message of greater security to the regime and have allowed the creation of mechanisms for these zones to increase the potential necessary to enter the large global chains.
In the case of the Western Free Trade Zone (ZFO), the recently granted extension estimates an investment of 500 million dollars in the first 10 years, which in turn will result in the creation of around 33,000 direct jobs and 50,000 indirect jobs both for the municipality of Mosquera and for the whole country.
And I want to dwell on this, because although it is very good news for Colombians, it denotes a genuine and real commitment of all business investors who see in Colombia an opportunity to expand their operations. A firm commitment that users of multiple economic sectors of ZFO have secured with an investment beyond what was stipulated.
This is explained, in other words, by the fact that for this type of extension, a very rigorous master plan must be submitted to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, which verifies a minimum investment of 33 billion pesos. However, this plan has an additional projection on the part of the users, which, as I mentioned, is approximately half a million dollars.
These are projections that, for example, will support the municipality in becoming one of the regions with the lowest unemployment; in this way, a virtuous circle will be generated in which industrial demand leads to a better skilled labour force, which in turn will further support the growing industry, stimulating an increase in the supply of skilled labour.
The commitment to employment is fundamental for any free trade zone, given that it benefits the communities around the park and with the execution of the investment, positive externalities will be generated, such as the hiring of personnel from the municipality and the Western region, as well as training and technology transfer.
In this sense, the results and contributions that the Free Trade Zoneshave generated are key for the economic reactivation stage of Colombia, especially because the aforementioned extensions are equivalent to the constitution of a legal framework that will guarantee that beyond generating high foreign investment for the national economy, they will bring with them multiple advantages, mainly by transforming the peripheral areas where they are located and converting them into development poles that strengthen infrastructure, education, the inclusion of the workforce, technology, among others.