Why did Amazon choose Colombia and not Chile or Argentina?

600 jobs, physical and virtual offices e attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This will be the first customer support center that Amazon will open in Latin America and so It will start working from the end of October.

It will be installed in Bogotá, but will offer support for the entire region in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Although each has its own particularities, there are five such centers located in United States, Canada, Costa Rica, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

The landing of one of the most sought-after companies in the world was applauded by the government and private initiative in Colombia.

However, the terms of employment with which Amazon will hire its new employees in this country and whether the company will benefit from tax exemptions or some other facility to operate in Colombian territory are not yet known.

The official announcement of the arrival of Amazon in this country confirms the rumors that circulated in the business world for all of this year and left for other South American countries wishing to receive the online sales company like Argentina and Chile.

Customer support centers are one of the great emblems of Amazon's expansion strategy.

The election of Colombia

In a statement sent to BBC World, Amazon announced its satisfaction with the opening of the new service center and explained some of the reasons for the election of this country,

"We are pleased to invest this year in Bogota and work with such qualified people in Colombia, which will bring high levels of experience and passion for their work."Tom Weiland, Amazon's vice president of Worldwide Customer Service, said in the post.

The executive stated that "I could not be happier to launch this site in Colombia, and therefore be part of the global network (of the company)".

Amazon emphasizes it this arrival means "a great variety of job opportunities for Colombians, from working as client service partners to administrative roles".

In fact, calls to different locations in Colombia can already be found on www.amazon.jobs.

"Amazon will offer these vacancies to work in its offices in the Connecta business park in Bogotá, and will run a Virtual Customer Service Center (VCS), where team members will have the flexibility to work from their homes," he says. the sales company

Amazon is among the three most popular companies in the world with Apple and Google.

More than half of virtual commerce is concentrated in the United States, although its activity in Latin America is not yet massive.

Why?

Raúl Gallegos, associate director of Control Risks, a consulting company with a presence in 36 countries that advises foreign companies wishing to enter Colombia, told BBC Mundo that Bogotá has sent positive signals for foreign capital from five to ten years.

"It is a trend that is consolidating, Colombia has a very attractive business climate, has stable governments, friendly with foreign investment and much clearer rules than other countries," said the expert.

Gallegos added that Colombia has benefited from some situations on the continent such as the crisis in Venezuela, which at the time was the country that housed the offices of many foreign companies landed in Latin America.

"Moreover, the economies of Ecuador and Bolivia are much smaller. Chile is an exemplary competitor, but Colombia has the geographical factor in favor. We are four hours from New York and we have a strong presence in the economy in the Central American countries, "concluded the expert.

Another case similar to that of Amazon is that of Coca Cola, which a few months ago moved its business unit in Latin America from San José de Costa Rica to the capital of Colombia.

Other multinationals such as Mercedes Benz, Furukawa, Stanley Black & Decker or Johnson & Johnson have also opened production centers and offices in various cities across the country.

According to the World Bank's 2018 Doing Business report, Colombia is the first Latin American country to protect investors and it is also the third most friendly destination for doing business in the region..

Prior to the election of Bogota for the opening of the Service Center, Argentina and Chile have made arrangements for the arrival of Amazon.

In fact, the Argentine government Mauricio Macri even received emissaries from the company and compromised tax structures.

The president highlighted in interviews at the end of last year that a possible arrival of Amazon would have been a positive sign for the economy of his country, something that has not materialized for now.

Even the specialized media in the business world reported that the government of Sebastián Piñera came to commit the infrastructure so that the 600 jobs and the investment of Amazon were in his country.

Latin America in sight

The arrival in Colombia, says the company itself, aims to consolidate it as the company with the greatest attention to the needs of customers all over the world.

One of the objectives with the new service center is the attention to the growing number of Spanish-speaking users who purchase from Amazon.

The company has already achieved good results in Colombia with the opening of a virtual solutions office in 2017 and cloud services called Amazon Web Services (AWS).

"AWS Colombia has been an integral part of growth in Latin America and is a further proof of the company's commitment to helping organizations around the world accelerate their access to the cloud," says Amazon.

The company also has collaborators and staff hired in several countries in the region such as Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico offering some of their services.

In Costa Rica, for example, there are about 7,000 people hired or associated who work in another customer service center very similar to what is going to operate in Bogotá and an office to support the sellers of Amazon, another division of the company of Jeff Bezos. .

Moreover, A software development center operates in the capital of Costa Rica.

Mexico is the only country in Latin America where there are storage, packaging and shipping centers for products.

A BBC Mundo report on Amazon's progress in Latin America indicates that the company is facing competition from local online sales activities and some protectionist measures in place in some countries in the region, such as Brazil.

Moreover, The use of credit cards in Latin America is not as common as in the United States or in Europe.

Other experts point out, however, that Amazon shows little interest in the small economies of some countries in the region and warns of economic stability and the quality of infrastructure and services in Latin America.

Colombian satisfaction …

Amazon's decision was quickly celebrated by the Colombian government.

ProColombia, a governmental entity focused on promoting foreign investment and tourism, told BBC Mundo They are "extremely satisfied with the announcement".

"Colombia has become a service center for companies around the world, thanks to our strategic geographical position, quality workforce, favorable business environment and access to different and growing markets," said Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia . .

Santoro added that the Iván Duque government "has no doubt that Colombia will become an important part of Amazon's success in the region".

Minister of Economics Jose Manuel Restrepo said last month that the arrival of the sales giant will have a profound impact on the Colombian economy.

"This shows that Colombian services are aligned with the most comprehensive needs and demands of first-class companies globally," he said.

… And doubts

Neither the government nor Amazon detailed the start-up parameters of the new customer service center, the fiscal terms in which the company will operate in the country or the conditions under which workers will be hired.

Despite its sustained growth and its policy of "hiring and contracting", the sales company has not been free from disputes in some countries due to the working conditions with which it retains its staff.

In July of this year, workers at the main Amazon center in Spain held a 72-hour strike demanding better salaries and a collective agreement. The company said that most of its employees had worked during the strike (the unions said that 70% had not) and that they were "just and responsible" with their workers.

Wage tables for positions open in Colombia are not published on the company's work page.

It is not even clear whether he will pay taxes in the country, another issue for which the company has been heavily criticized in the United States, especially as regards the third parties selling through Amazon. There have also been disputes over the payment of taxes in the United Kingdom and Japan.

Amazon spokesmen said that Fr.collect the taxes that are required in each country in which they operate.

For now, the Amazon landing has produced numerous titles in the Colombian media, but no reaction from the workers' union organizations or institutions that monitor the quality and rights of workers in the country.

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BBC-NEWS-SRC: https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-america-latina-45887866, IMPORTANT DATE: 2018-10-18 11:30:03

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