Skip to main content

Colombia taking steps to facilitate business growth

CARTAGENA, Colombia — North American companies are catching on to the increased need to include Latin America, as a culture and a region, in marketing plans.

Brazil has had a lot of attention as a nation that is ripe for building a new customer base. The boating industry has seen it as a major area of development and growth as the nation’s GDP grows and the currency strengthens.

But a few years ago, when high taxes were placed on exports such as boats that equaled about 100 percent, some companies felt discouraged about exporting to the country.

That’s an issue export officials in Colombia think they can help with.

Miguel Angel Franco Hossain, senior tourism specialist with Proexport Colombia, the government group charged with increasing tourism and exports in the country.

Miguel Angel Franco Hossain, senior tourism specialist with Proexport Colombia, the government group charged with increasing tourism and exports in the country.

The country is trying to make it easier for local companies to grow, as well as make it less challenging for companies around the world to come and do business, Miguel Angel Franco Hossain, senior tourism specialist with Proexport Colombia, the government group charged with increasing tourism and exports in the country, told Trade Only Today during a press trip.

Several recent free trade agreements have been put in place to facilitate that international growth, Hossain said. Ten years ago the country only had four or five agreements; now it has 12.

“A couple of years ago, a company that built a product in Kohl, Germany, came and added a little part of the product in Colombia with national workers,” Hossain told Trade Only. “That qualified to be exempt from taxes. That became the logistics center in Cartagena, so they benefited by the free trade agreement. If they had exported the product directly from Germany, they wouldn’t have had that benefit. And now, the entire country's working on getting more companies here.”

It depends on the country, but roughly 30 percent of the product must be built or assembled in Colombia to qualify as a native product.

Colombia hopes to benefit from those high Brazilian taxes.

“If a country is putting too much regulation in place or they make it too expensive, that becomes our opportunity to get the company here,” Hossain said. “Actually companies from Brazil are trying to come here to get people to export. Because of our different trade agreements, we become an export platform without paying taxes, or reduced taxes.”

Internally, the country is looking to partner with marine schools to provide training for Colombians, Andres Cerda Nieto of the Cartagena Chamber of Commerce said during a presentation last Friday. A nautical education program in conjunction with Broward College in Miami has been discussed to help residents become trained and skilled in the boating industry, Nieto said.

“We are trying to contact people from marine mechanics institutes and marine technical programs,” Nieto told Trade Only “We’re open to making alliances with universities and training centers from other countries. We don't currently have educational offerings with those high standards, but we will look for that.”

Read more about the growing marine industry in Colombia and the Cartagena International Boat Show in the May edition of Soundings Trade Only.

Related

VOLVO-EARNINGS

Volvo Penta Reports Q4, FY22 Results

Net sales of $470 million for the quarter were a 33% increase compared to the prior year period.

Pulse-Report

DEALERS: Are You Improving the Service Experience?

Our monthly Pulse Report survey asks this and other questions about your dealership. Take the survey here.

NMRA-SCHOLARSHIP

NMRA Sets Scholarship Deadline

Students pursuing education in the marine trades can apply for the National Marine Representatives Association awards until April 1.

MARINE-PRODUCTS

Marine Products Reports Record Q4

The builder of Chaparral and Robalo boats reported net sales were up 42% for the quarter and 28% for fiscal year 2022.

1_SHURHOLD

Shurhold Appoints COO

Forrest Ferrari has years of management, business development, IT and quality-assurance experience.

MOBILE-CATCH-CENTER

RBFF, Pure Fishing Partner for a First Catch Center

Pure Fishing will equip a mobile trailer with tackle and gear to bring fishing experiences to areas of South Carolina where participation is low.

Norm

An Oft-Overlooked Sales Opportunity

A recent report from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation showed that women comprise 37% of all anglers. If you haven’t tapped this segment, you’re missing out.

1. 2023 new boat retail outlook

Too Many High-Priced Boats

To wrap up 2022, marine retailers reported lower demand, expressed more negative sentiment and voiced concerns about rising inventory. Boat prices and the economy remained top of mind for dealers in December.

Soundings Nov 2022

New-Boat Registrations Continue to Slide

As the gaudy sales figures from the pandemic continue to return to more realistic numbers, the main segments of the recreational boating industry saw new-model registrations of 4,421 in November, a 30.3% drop from 6,340 during the same time in 2021. .