comillon_engMessage from our Chief Executive to shareholders and interest groups.

Twenty years ago, as a response to the government’s interest in incrementing the productivity of state enterprises, the proposal was made for the privatization of the five existing free zones in the country; being Barranquilla’s Free Zone a pioneer within this group.
Accepting the invitation of the then Minister of Foreign Trada, a group of users, interested in guaranteeing judicial and economical stability for the stablished enterprises, formed a society in order to apply as a qualified Barranquilla Free Zone Operating User, which was awarded through Resolution 0978 of 1994.

From those early days, where 421 million dollars in merchandise where transported a year, where the area occupation barely reached a 40% of the total rentable area, where the society’s patrimonial value amounted to 3,341 million and its assets 3,974 million, both in today’s prices, where profit was not perceived as a priority against the benefit that represented the viability of the customs operation.

By the end of 2014 we have an organisation with an impact in the world of foreign trade, that has coherently expanded in its scope towards segments that leverage and enhance the logistics chain of trade in goods and services, that influence the development of the country’s port activity, that is deliberative in taking local decisions in the areas where enterprises of interest are located, which has industry recognition for the seriousness and reliability of its operation, has multiplied its patrimonial value to 53,121 million and has at its disposal assets with a value of 165,331 million, and registers 566,000 foreign trade operations in its managed special and permanent free zones, through which 5,250 million dollars where set in motion.

This is today’s Barranquilla Free Zone, with which we participate in the building of a better and more sustainable tomorrow for all of our interest groups.

The concerted and inclusive leadership that has structured the growth and expansion of the organization over the years, has allowed us today to feel pleased, not just for the specific benefits received, but for the fact of being part of an enterprise that builds its sustainability in leaving footprints of growth and progress, in each action completed with the joy and passion that characterise us.

We have firmly entered a new dimension within our business as developers of free zones, having built the most modern of permanent free zones declared so far, with 120 fully urbanized acres, where two real state projects are being developed; Industrial Warehouses and Sofia Trade Center.

The sustainability of the Free Zone organization could not be a reality without the social responsibility we have as an enterprise towards concrete results;
which is why, we are thrilled to report our team received 12,716 hours of training over 2014, six workers completed their Master studies and nine specialized in different branches of knowledge.

Likewise, thanks to the work we have been making through Fundación Zona Franca, today 1,200 children under 7 years of age have a better quality of life, now having the needed support and supervision for their integral formation. These children receive controlled nutrition, teaching in sponsored schools, recreation and sports with the 15 soccer and cheerleading teams that compete annually in the Free Zone Cup (Copa Zona Franca), and a deep approach to our cultural and folk roots through the music of Drums for Peace (Tambores por la Paz).

With the fulfilment of these 20 years, our enterprise approached organizational maturity. The solid team we have put together is prepared to meet the challenges that lie ahead and have the need tools to re-direct the integral management of the organization in the context of the country’s new stage, where the opening of international markets, the exchange of knowledge within the global context and innovation in social and economic management, will all be paths that mark Colombia´s progress towards peace.

 

César Caro Castellar

President