Latin America is becoming the destination of choice over other competitive markets, such as Asia, due to its proximity to the United States, its investor-friendly climate and the increasing levels of education of its population.
Juan Carlos Giraldo, General Director of the Colombian Association of Hospitals and Clinics (ACHC), accurately defines the era Colombia is experiencing: “The export of services is not something new here. Our quality standards are becoming stronger so that we can compete in the North American market with two main groups in mind: one is Colombians living there, which is a very large group. In New York and Miami there are 1 million and 1.5 million people. And secondly, we also have in mind some insurers who see there are important possibilities here, because of prices and easy conditions.”
The new hospital built in Rio Negro by the Fundación San Vicente de Paul is one such project that will boost the export of medical services.
Colombia ranks among Latin America’s most favorable destinations for the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. The BPO Association, led by Ana Karina Quessep, is responsible for the progress of the call center industry. Colombia’s human resources gives it a competitive edge within the industry over other destinations such as Ireland or India.
Barranquilla, Pereira and Manizales have created thousands of jobs through call centers and BPO companies. Minister of Information Technologies and Communications Diego Molano Vega has instigated a plan to promote the export of creative industries, such as software development. The ratification of the free trade agreement with the U.S. will make it Colombia’s main market for these services.