Latin America is perceived as a high-risk destination, with too much crime and government oversight that falls short when measured against the United States, Europe, and other more developed economies.
Just a few days ago, the Telegraph said, “Despite its progress, Colombia is not without its flaws. Poverty is too high, education standards too low. Bribery in the public sector has been reduced, but not eliminated.”
Crime hasn’t been eliminated? That’s true for every country on the planet. But what’s important is that the situation in Colombia is improving.
We still have a lot to learn.
However, it is always beautiful to see when my American clients visit Colombia and fall in love with a diverse culture, the people and adventures they have of working with a local partner that has their back.
No one can imagine what Colombia is like until they finally come.
In Colombia today, we’re seeing new levels of awareness.
Civil society is finally on board. More and more people are rejecting corruption and long for peace.
But there’s still plenty of room for improvement. That’s in part what it means to be a developing economy.
Yet this very fact is what makes Colombia such an attractive destination.
Because there is room for improvement and growth, there is also ample opportunity for high rewards. Investors are catching on.
For the first time ever, global corporations invested more in emerging markets than the core economies of the U.S., Europe, and Japan, according to a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade & Development (available here in pdf).
In 2014, there was a 12% increase in FDI in South America.
In Colombia and across Latin America, the best way to do that is by finding local business partners who share the same values and views about compliance and risk aversion. I personally specialize in helping American investors set up outsourcing operations in Bogota that generate employment, reduce cost and improve sales margins across the board.
With over 10 years of experience, at Vantech we have mastered the art of Virtual Employment with great success stories.
The role of clean, knowledgeable local partners is essential. They provide gateways between cultures and business practices.
That cooperative approach is what I have been working to promote. That, I believe, is how North American and European companies eyeing the rich investment opportunities in Colombia and other Latin American destinations can navigate the risks and reap the rewards.