ProBarranquilla, one of Colombia’s regional investment promotion agencies, claimed to have brought investments worth more than US$1.3 billion in the past five years.
The investments led to the generation of more than 16,000 jobs, reported local news outlet El Heraldo citing Vicky Osorio, director of the agency.
ProBarranquilla said it has supported around 200 investment projects in the northern department of Atlantico, where Barranquilla is located. Around 56% of these investments came from foreign countries, with the remaining coming from different regions within Colombia.
Osorio said ProBarranquilla not only helps firms set up shop in Barranquilla, but that it will also supports existing firms in expanding operations further.
Most of these investments came from companies headquartered in countries like Chile, Peru and the United States, according to Aquiles Mercado, president of the agency.
“We not only compete with other cities in Colombia to attract companies but also with other countries in Latin America or the world, since investors look for the best destinations,” Mercado added.
Many BPO companies, such as Sitel and HGS, have expanded operations to Barranquilla. The agency has attributed the growth in the BPO sector to the ‘English for Work’ program, designed to increase the number of bilinguals.