John Luis Torres


Zona Franca Parque Central Cartagena

  1. What was the determining factor for you to take the decision to participate in the Free Trade Zone?

We have the facility to deal with the goods of our suppliers in the FTZ reducing the lead-time and only paying appropriate taxes.

  1. Point out 5 factors how the Free Trade Zone help to increase the exportation of your products or services.

Offers us complete security in operations at low cost.

They do not require a percentage of outside taxes on goods produced.

They do not require a percentage of local purchases.

We have centralised our outside commercial operations, optimising management information resulting in eliminating extra costs.

Our products have agreement benefits and we can ask for tariff reductions. Applicable with G-3, Mercosur, CAN (except Peru), Colombia with the north triangle, USA, Free Commerce agreement with Chile. Countries are very interested in our market.

  1. Indicate 3 characteristics that the Free Trade Zone has that promotes the competitiveness of your operation.

International support, economic benefits and logistical efficiency.

  1. Why do you consider the Free Trade Zones generate development and investment?

For the trust given to our clients and suppliers, the first step to generate business and valuable relations.

  1. Since being in the Free Trade Zone what are the most important benefits that you have given to the region?

There are many other benefits, the possibility of extending work opportunities, it is gratifying to have the talent and efficiency of professionals and operatives from the region. They really are the heart of the company. The fact of having them in PanelMET is fundamental to our growth.

  1. What economic and social benefits has the Free Trade Zone contributed to your company and the region?

To have one of the most modern industrial plants in Latin America manufacturing roofs and walls with the latest European technology; our challenge is to integrate all these technological benefits with the optimal logistical operation that supports and contributes to our sustainability and growth.

  1. What benefits would you have by being in a FTZ with respect to free trade agreements?

Clearly it allows us to be highly competitive with a strategic advantage of efficiency, which allows us to be one step ahead of our competitors.

  1. Factually, how can you benefit the region by establishing your operations in the FTZ?

By hiring operational and professional staff, we promote the local competitiveness and the formation of clusters.

  1. Since your company started in the FTZ how have the incentives contributed to your companies growth?

As a new company, this special condition (belonging to a FTZ) has positively contributed to a position in the sector, achieving successful projects and an international projection for the next 5 years.

  1. What type of production chain has your company realised by being part of the FTZ?

By having better agreements with our suppliers we have optimised commercial links, working hand-in-hand to achieve high levels of flexibility, adaptability and quality guarantees. Additionally factors like productivity based on innovational and competitiveness are very important in this process.

  1. How do the facilities of the FTZ help the creation of SMEs?

We think that this is an important place to start, knowing that we live in a changing market it makes you think and act with a global vision. Many of the benefits of being in a FTZ are focussed on this thought.

  1. Do you think that being in the FTZ helps with access to external markets?

Of course, the available facilities offered by the FTZ contribute to a strategic plan based on realising new international markets.

  1. Do you think that being part of the FTZ contributes to helping make your products more competitive in international markets?

It contributes as a tool to make it happen, however a part of being commercially successful in an international market is to be sustainable. Also a major number of companies, like ours, have international production standards to satisfy industry requirements.

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