The project has a focus on exportation and our primary materials are imported, so it makes sense to operate in a FTZ to reduce costs and expenses attributed to the cost of transforming primary materials nationally.
It is easy to transport the primary materials to the FTZ, avoiding much of the annoying formalities.
By being in a FTZ we have certain characteristics as an exporter and in some government departments as well as foreign organisations these characteristics are well known.
They interact with the entry and port authorities, with DIAN and help in one way or another to make all the processes easier.
Secondly, they are trying to integrate service areas to gain benefits between the FTZ and to make them stronger than others.
They are introducing some initiatives to generate energy to increase competitiveness.
Really they should be, but the situation in the Colombian FTZ focuses more on importation than exportation, to import expensive products such as cars, machinery, parts, consumer goods, replacements; more than manufacture and export. So, as I said before, if we could have extra advantage in areas such as energy we can be more competitive. I believe these are the factors they are working on.
We are a big operator of containers in the port of Santa Marta and also one of the biggest bulk importers. The FTZ helps us to localise in the area resulting in the generation of more than 180 direct employees and in excess of 500 indirect employees, also an opportunity to provide serious, stable and legal jobs. From that point of view I think the FTZ has been a generator of development.
We have a relationship with SENA but basically it covers the legal requirement of jobs. Unfortunately SENA in the region does not have the technical people that we require, nevertheless the FTZ has done good work with the nearby vulnerable population seeking a good relationship with them to promote in some way employment for these people. Currently we and other companies from the FTZ have employees from the poorest areas nearby; we have people that have for us in excess of 5 years and they have built a life and home. Some living conditions in Santa Marta are very deprived but they are getting better, some people already have a house and a home, it is generating a very interesting social dynamic.
We already have incentives but they were here before we joined the FTZ.
I believe it is impossible to help the Small enterprises because they have many requirements to establish themselves in the FTZ and I do not think this is possible.
It is not easy to create companies as there are many requirements, rules and control checks by the authorities so I believe the FTZ regime is not attractive and is not promoting the creation of new companies. The FTZ is too demanding with regard to rules, requirements and control etc. and I think currently the FTZ is discouraging new business rather than attracting it.
It is easier for me for the reasons already stated, finally the fact of being in the FTZ makes it easier to transfer primary materials, is very efficient and is one of the best characteristics of the FTZ that works. The transfer of primary materials in the FTZ is very productive, also the transfer of finished products is very efficient. I believe this results in an effective tool for us to enable us to export to market.
Yes because regardless of having a plan we still have reservations regarding administration and retentions, however here we have a permanent advantage concerning duties without which there is no reason to be established here.