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COLOMBIA - Reasons To Invest

"On the three criteria used for our investment decisions, Colombia will continue to score well: the size of the opportunity, our ability to guarantee the integrity of our people, brands, and assets, and our ability to operate"

Frank N.J. Braeken President
Unilever Andina S.A.

1. Macroeconomic Stability

   - One of the most stable economies in Latin America.
   - Steady economic growth, above the Latin American average.
   - Growth rate of 3.95% in 2003 and an expected growth between 3.5%-4.0% for 2004.
   - Declining inflation over the past few years, reaching 6.5% in 2003.
   - Declining foreign debt.

2. Long-Standing, Stable Democracy

   - Colombia has enjoyed an uninterrupted democracy except for a four-year period in the 1950s.

3. Competitive and Highly Skilled Labor Force

   - Colombia’s workforce is considered the best in the Andean Community and it is among the most qualified in Latin America for managerial, operational and technical
   - The adult literacy rate in Colombia is one of the highest in Latin America.
   - The availability of competent senior managers is high, with the 2003 World Competitiveness Yearbook ranking Colombia 2nd out of 30 countries with populations over 20
   - Colombia’s workforce is competitive in terms of labor costs. For example, services salaries and hourly manufacturing wages are highly competitive in Colombia compared
   to other developing and developed countries.
   - Human capital development in Colombia, particularly at the professional level, does not discriminate against women.

4. Flexible Labor Regime

Colombia has one of the most flexible labor regimes in Latin America, with:

   - Regular working shift between 6 a.m. to 10 p.m for a 48-hour workweek, which reduces overtime and extra night time pay for companies needing to employ workers for two
   - Companies can reduce labor costs by hiring apprentices under service contracts.
   - Reduced compensation levels for dismissal without just cause.

5. Strategic Location

   - Located at the midway point between North and South America.
   - The only country in South America with Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean coasts.
   - Easy access to North American, European, Latin American, African and Asian markets.

6. Export Platform and Privileged Access to World Markets

Trade agreements with:
   - Andean Community (CAN)
   - Chile
   - G3
   - ALADI
   - US FTA (Forthcoming)

Tariff preferences under:
   - ATPDEA (US)
   - Andean SGP (European Union)

7. Special Regimes to Encourage Foreign Trade

   - Free Trade Zones offering a number of tax and procedural incentives, as well as foreign exchange benefits.
   - Special Economic Export Zones offering a special regime for new export-oriented businesses.
   - Quimbaya Law, with tax benefits and tariff exemptions.
   - Vallejo Plan, with full or partial exemptions of customs duties and value-added tax for imports of raw materials and inputs, as well as intermediate and capital goods
   as long as these are used to produce exports.
   - Companies exporting more than 30% of their sales (ALTEX: Large Users) are eligible for special tax breaks and other benefits.

8. Multiple Development Poles

Country risk can be diversified over multiple markets:

   - One city with more than 7 million inhabitants.
   - Three cities with more than 2 million inhabitants.
   - Four cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants.
   - 23 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants.

Additionally, Colombia has the third largest population in Latin America (45 million inhabitants), after Brazil and Mexico.

9. Physical Infrastructure

   - Coverage of public services one of the highest in Latin America.
   - Modern communications infrastructure.
   - Increasing investment in transport infrastructure.

10. Confidence and Recognition from Foreign Investors

In 2002 Colombia was the second greatest FDI receptor in Latin America.

Over 400 multinational companies are successfully growing their businesses and expressing confidence in the country’s potential.

Some of them are:
   - Citibank
   - Gas Natural
   - Nestlé
   - Carrefour
   - Drummond
   - Unilever
   - Bayer
   - ExxonMobil
   - Siemens
   - McDonald’s
   - Renault
   - DuPont
   - BBVA
   - Cemex
   - América Móvil
   - BellSouth

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E-Mail: Phone Call Reception: Mon Thru Friday 9:00am - 1:00pm and 2:00pm - 6:00pm. Saturday 9:30am - 1:30 pm.
Office: Bocagrande, Cra. 1 Calle 13 Edificio Cartagena de Indias - Local 1. Tel.: (57 5) 665 0515. Celular: (57) 311 660 2756. Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

© Paul Juan Realty, and/or its clients. All rights reserved. All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.