Diego Pineda

Gerente Onzas filial CO&TEX S.A.S.

Zona Franca Internacional de Pereira

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

At a meeting with President Santos in May 2011, facing the need to generate an extra 2 million jobs, we proposed to him a viable solution. To have a preferential income tax in order to generate jobs in the manufacture and textile sector. In response to this the President invited us to think seriously about establishing a FTZ to take advantage of the benefits. Consequently we decided to abort the construction of a 17,000 m2 plant in the city of Dosquebradas which would have generated more than 1,500 direct jobs and instead we took his recommendation and joined the International FTZ of Pereira.

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

For the entry of primary materials and high quality supplies not produced in Colombia from the rest of the world.

The tax benefits allow us to have more competitive prices in the international market.

To process the primary materials and supplies into finished products.

The confidence generated in international buyers by being part of a FTZ.

The ability to acquire the latest technology to generate high quality products to export.

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

Allows us to import the latest technology machinery putting our company at the same level as those in the most developed countries.

Allows us to take advantage of the tax benefits creating an important margin to compete with countries and sectors that have subsidies or a cheap workforce.

Allows us to do partial processes in the TAN, benefitting our company and the growth of the SMEs.

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

They became attractive for the investors looking for bigger profit returns helping them to grow their companies and make them ready for demanding markets.

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

Principally generating new employment for people from nearby vulnerable communities such as Corregimiento de Caimalito and the municipality of La Virginia. We are working on a project with SENA to technically train people in textile manufacture searching to create at least 1,000 direct employees and 1,000 indirectly, impacting in 14 municipalities in the Departments of Risaralda and Caldas.

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

The International FTZ in Pereira started operations without any buildings, but built a network with the vulnerable communities, especially Caimalito, listening to their important social needs, especially employment to have a better quality of life.

Economically they have positioned large companies in the region in a strategic place where they have made highly representative investments.

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

Facilities for customs and logistics procedures.

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

Our priority has been to generate high quality employment and to impact on the most vulnerable communities as we have been doing. Also to promote a sense of belonging to a specific sector such as the textile manufacturing industry.

  1. Does your company support the process of demobilisation, female head of families and the displaced?

Our company had meetings with ACR, Solidarity organisations, ANDI Foundation, Red Unidos and the National Police to seek solutions and are waiting to start the productive chain with them.

  1. How are you going to give that support?

We want to create workers co-operatives in the municipalities of Risaralda and Caldas in order to generate productive chains.

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

The exoneration of duties and IVA allows us to acquire the latest technology for the development of new lines of production and our better profit rate allows us to invest in the growth of our company.

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

We are working with public and private companies to create workers co-operatives in the sector of textile manufacturing, for example ALFACOOP in Sevilla, Valle. A group of 100 supplying us with high quality products.

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

Creating new ventures to become our suppliers.

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

Yes because it makes direct access to those markets easier.

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

Definitely yes as I have already said.

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