Six Colombian companies have formed an alliance to combat the constraints of infrastructure and the competitive challenges of Colombia’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with other nations, national media reported on Sunday.
In Colombia’s second largest city, Medellin, six companies have joined in an alliance called the Assembly Network in order to remain competitive in the face of FTA regulations, according to Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.
This network was launched by the International Cooperation Agency and the Mayor of Medellin’s initiative, Route N. The participating companies are Sofasa, Incolomotos, AKT Motos, Auteco, Mitsubishi ascensores, and Haceb.
“We are united because we have processes, technology, and suppliers that require competitive conditions to be successful,” explained Lina Vasquez, head of projects and supplier development of Sofasa.
Vasquez added that the initial investment from the six companies will be over $2.15 million.
The network has been heralded by the National Entrepreneur’s Association of Colombia as the most important project for the next 20 years and a shining example of private and public cooperation, which should inspire future business and industry alliances in the country, according to El Tiempo.
This network, which is comprised of 36 representatives from the six industries, hopes to offer support to the sector as well as keep the companies competitive and share new ideas and innovation.
Given the high costs of exporting and importing, this network promises to increase internal cooperation between companies to allow them to remain competitive even with the influx of products from the US and Europe through FTAs.
Regional head of the Assembly Network, Juan David Perez, explained that the benefits this network has already demonstrated what the Antioquia region of Colombia has to offer in terms of industry and business opportunity.
According to El Tiempo, Perez hopes the success of the network will extend to other parts of the country, such as Uraba and Puerto Berrio.
Following Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ promised increase in exports to the United States, Colombia’s biggest trading partner, exports actually dropped 15.5% in 2013 as a result of the 2012 US-Colombia FTA.