Rodrigo Payno

Arvato Colombia

Zona Franca Santander


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

The FTZ Santander is for Arvato an excellent option, not only for the benefits of the Colombian FTZ, but also for being located close to the Airport and Universities, also very tight security. All this is internationally recognised by winners of ´Best FTZ of Latin America and the Caribbean´ by the FDI-Financial Times.

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

The tax benefits of the FTZ, legal stability, a good and privileged location with excellent land and air connections and the tight security.

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

As I said before, tax benefits, legal stability and privileged location.

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

Because they generate employment and investment for the companies. Most importantly they attract foreign investment.

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

The most important are employment and training. Arvato started operations at the end of 2012 and in the first year generated 1,000 jobs. In the following years our average number of professional employees was 1,250.

Arvatos policy is to invest time, work and resources in the initial and continuous training of our staff, it contributes to the personal and professional development of our workforce.

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

As I said before the tax benefits, legal stability, location and security. Also the support of the FTZ Santander from the beginning helped us to achieve our goals. There were many challenges, time was tight and our service had to be excellent from the start, in this context the work between us was essential to exceed our objectives.

For the region the FTZ are big generators of employment and they attract both national and international investment.

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

Our business is to export services of BPO and contact centre to the telecommunications sector of the Spanish market, we take advantage of the benefits of the Free Commerce Agreement between Colombia and the European Economic Community. The principal benefits are that our services are exempt from IVA, also we can ask for a refund of any IVA charges, additionally when exporting we do not pay taxes in European territory.

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

Arvato started operations at the end of 2012 and in the first year generated 1,000 jobs. In the following years our average number of professional employees was 1,250.

  1. What is the Bertelsmann Group and in how many countries are they established?

The Group is a media, services and education company in 50 countries around the world with more 110,000 professionals. Comprising the following companies:

  • RTL Group
  • Penguin Random House
  • G+J
  • BMG
  • Arvato
  • Bertelsmann Printing Group
  • Bertelsmann Education Group
  • Bertelsmann Investments
  1. Why do you export non-traditional services (BPO sector)?

Colombia is a model in Latin America in the Contact Centre sector. It is a country with an emerging economy, with economic growth and legal stability in favour of security for foreign investment.

  1. Why did you decide to invest in the FTZ Santander?

The FTZ Santander is for Arvato an excellent option, not only for the benefits of the Colombian FTZ, but also for being located closed to the Airport and Universities, also very tight security. All this is internationally recognised by winners of ´Best FTZ of Latin America and the Caribbean´ by the FDI-Financial Times.

  1. How many employees does Arvato generate in the FTZ and what is their profile?

Arvato actually provides approximately 1,238 jobs. The main profile is:

Technical and commercial with enhanced communication ability. We also have employees in the areas of service staff, accountants, analysts, administrative, planners, human resources, psychologists, social awareness technicians, risk prevention and financial along with others. Our employees in Colombia are fundamentally comprised of young university graduates with the ability to adapt to new technologies and quickly assimilate knowledge and continuous change.

  1. What agreements or strategies have Arvato to strengthen workforce skills and generate a big social impact?

We work hard with the Universities and educational centres, through alliances that give great benefits to our staff and making it easier for access to great training.

A good example of this is our Juan Guillermo Giraldo scholarship, an agreement between Salamanca and Santo Tomas Universities, through which we offer exchange scholarships to the students in both countries. They experience academic practices in our business units in both cities.

Of course we work hand-in-hand with SENA allowing our employees to take courses than compliment their academic background. Additionally we work closely with them to certify our employees competence.

  1. Do you think you will increase your operation in the FTZ in the future?

We are very satisfied with our current operation. Now we are focussed on making our operation more professional, investing in technology and digitalisation of our services.

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