Firms like Polybarq, Industrial Developers, Metalox and International Green Products are coming to settle in La Cayena.

Barranquilla’s free trade zones have clear not only the challenges of the FTA with the United States, but also the requirements of other treaties that are signed with countries like Korea and Panama. Therefore they have an expansion plan ready that will help them meet the demand for new industrial areas arriving to the city.

We have the Zona Franca Internacional Zofia, with 1,200,000 square meters, strategically located in the country’s largest logistics corridor. We are developing a free trade zone in the country’s interior Zofiva – Zona Franca Internacional del Valle de Aburrá – with an area of 400,000 square meters. We believe in the integration of the country through the Magdalena River, which is why we both Puerto Salgar and have made significant investments in the Port Society of Magangué, the largest passenger terminal in the Caribbean, “said Cesar Caro, president of the Zona Franca de Barranquilla. He said that today free zones are not unique and exclusive spaces for the marketing of goods, but its scope is given around the development of highly competitive industrial processing. In this regard, the benefit of free tariff on goods entering free zones is only one, compared to the wide range of advantages offered by the Free Trade Regime.

“For example 15% in income tax, the indefinite storage of goods, the possibility of completing suspensive customs transit systems, but especially the possibility for users to have a specialized foreign service, efficient and competitive trade” , said the businessman.

Today the United States is the largest trading partner of Zona Franca de Barranquilla, participating with 35% in the movements of incoming and outgoing goods. The operator has estimated that by 2013 the growth in motion with the US will reach $ 550 million, representing an increase of 19% compared to the end of 2011.

“We expect a stepped and stable growth. We project that in the long term, by 2021, deals worth US $ 1.235 billion will taking place in Zona Franca de Barranquilla with the United States, “said Caro.

He also added that Zofia is the main axis of the expansion of the company. For in 2011 Zona Franca de Barranquilla closed with an occupancy rate of 83.6% and 159,734.17 m2 available for lease, which shows the scarce supply of space in this area.

“We are building Zofia a world-class industrial park, with 1,200,000 m2, with modern and comprehensive infrastructure for the installation of major national and multinational companies, where major logistics centers will be consolidated to serve the markets of Central America and the Caribbean” said Caro, noting that 68 companies have already acquired their land in Zofia and are close to beginning construction of their plants.

“To date we have sold 338 168 m2 and we have negotiated with approval 168.849m2 of 902,000 ready for sale,” he said.

Perspective. For his part, Felipe Arroyo, manager of Zona Franca La Cayena, explained that the revenues of merchandise movements from the United States are close to 35% of total operations and outputs are around 33%. “We believe that these shares may be increased to the extent that rebates begin to be implemented.”

On the other hand, he reported that they are coming to settle in the ZF companies like Polybarq, Industrial Developers, International Green Products, Kassani, Pet Metalox Group.

“We have had several visits to Spanish companies specialized in agricultural machinery and mining companies producing gas cylinders and Colombian food producing companies focused on the US market and the Caribbean,” Arroyo said.

In four years of operations Zona Franca La Cayena, 29,331 movement of goods forms have been made, with nine users in operation. Similarly, it is close to having an energy voltage of 110,000 volts, which is a quality of optimum service to meet major industrial challenges, just as the reconstruction of the road leading to the park is at 94% of completion.

By Jenny Patricia Perdomo