High-level business delegates from Santiago de Cali, the capital of the Valle del Cauca department, the most populous city in southwest Colombia, explored international partnership and investment opportunities during their visit to the ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai.
The Colombian delegates engaged with prospective global partners and investors to highlight a myriad of growth prospects in Cali’s key sectors such as sports and health tourism, two of its major industries.
During the visit, the group highlighted what makes Cali different from other cities and showcase the city’s competitive edge as the doorway to the Colombian Pacific. Companies are growing in Cali thanks to its business-friendly policies and solutions, as well as its capability to fully support their operations. Zonamerica, the first services free trade zone in the country and tech park, is situated in the city.
Cali, the main urban and economic center in the south of the country, is considered one of the fastest-growing economies in Colombia. It is also one of the most biodiverse. The city is home to more than 900 species of birds and is a favorite destination for hiking and some extreme sports.
Dubbed as Colombia’s sporting capital, it was a host to many international sporting competitions. These included the 1971 Pan American Games, the 1992 World Wrestling Championships, the 2013 World Games, the 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, the 2015 World Youth Championships in Athletics, and the inaugural 2021 Junior Pan American Games.
Furthermore, Cali is the location of numerous healthcare providers that offer affordable but higher-quality healthcare treatments. Some 72,000 medical tourists from all over the world come to the city a year to avail themselves of local healthcare services.
It is renowned as well for its bilingual and young human talents, nurtured by multiple local initiatives being undertaken to strengthen their communication and technical skills. This is amid the growing global demands for technology and services operations.
Additionally, the city-region, which mainly grows sugarcane and coffee, hosts more than 200 multinationals, accounts for 37 per cent of Valle del Cauca’s exports, and represents almost 12 per cent of the regional gross domestic product (GDP). Its other top exports apart from sugarcane and coffee are fresh and exotic fruits, pharmaceutical and chemical products, fashion and accessories, cultural and creative industry, machinery, agroindustry and construction, cocoa derivatives and confectionaries.
As a business center that boasts of reliable infrastructure and connectivity, Cali remains a low-cost city where companies can achieve higher cost savings in their key operations. Investment opportunities are immense in major local sectors such as manufacturing, agribusiness, renewable energy, human resources, information technology, software business process outsourcing (BPO), and many more.
Called the ‘Capital of Salsa,’ it is also famous for its unique style of salsa. On food, Cali offers the traditional sancocho and tamales apart from seafood made delicious by a wide variety of herbs.