Economy: Buenaventura has optimistic companies, and Pasto, pessimistic – Companies – Economy

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A new edition of the Business Rhythm Survey, led by the Cali Chamber of Commerce, made it clear that businessmen are seeing that the first half of 2023 will be stable and that the majority is less optimistic about the future. future of the colombian economy.

To construct this report, we consulted 7,201 businessmen of 16 departments regarding the situation and trends in sales, employment and investment, competitive difficulties and foreign trade, as well as the expectations for the first six months.

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The 16 departments cover 78.7 percent of the national population, 82.5 percent of Colombian companies, 83.5 percent of the national GDP, and represent 76.3 percent of national exports, without include mining, oil and its derivatives.

The survey reveals that 40.4 percent of companies expect the The economic situation of your department is worse or much worse during the first half of the year, compared to the current situation.

Clear rules and adequate investment conditions are required

23.6 percent of the companies consulted believe that it will be better or much better and 36 percent that the economic situation will remain the same.

The most pessimistic are those of Pasto (58.9 percent) and Medellín (53.4 percent). A year ago, only 27.2 percent of Paisa businessmen estimated that the economy was going to be worse or much worse, while in Bogotá this perception went from 29 to 48.3 percent.

The companies from Buenaventura (37.4 percent) and Cauca (33.6 percent) are the ones that most consider that the economy will be better or much better in these first six months.

«Clear rules and adequate investment conditions are required,» said Luis Fernando Pérez, president of the Cali Chamber of Commerce.

Despite economic uncertainty, 35.2 percent of the companies consulted project an increase in their salesalthough 24 percent assure that they will drop to June of this year, according to the Business Rhythm Survey.

The most optimistic are located in Cartagena (58.1 percent), Cúcuta (48.6 percent), Aburrá Sur (48.4 percent) and Barranquilla (43.7 percent). Of this group, 48.3 percent affirm that the increase will only be from 10 to 20 percent, and 33.3 percent expect an increase of more than 20 percent.

On the contrary, the businessmen of Ipiales and Pasto are the most pessimistic and they reveal that their sales will fall between 59.1 and 41.6 percent, respectively, due to the closure of the Pan-American Highway, which has already accumulated for two months.

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There are regions where optimism is very moderate, and we need to continue encouraging our entrepreneurs so that they continue to believe

According to the companies consulted, 46.8 percent will not apply for loans in the first half of 2023 and 6.8 percent will take advantage of the increase in interest rates to invest in financial products.

In the second half of 2022, only 31.9 percent of businessmen stated that their sales had been suspected, standing out those of Aburrá Sur (59.6 percent), Medellín (49.6 percent) and Cartagena (49, 6 percent) 2 percent).

For their part, Cauca (13.3 percent) and Ipiales (11.1 percent) had the lowest growth, while Bogota and Bucaramanga they even positively surpassed the sales records of 2020 and 2021 during the second half of 2022.

The survey shows that in Medellín, Cali and Barranquilla the percentage of companies that indicated an increase in their sales exceeded 40 percent. However, this result was lower than a year ago, giving signs of a slowdown.

Inflation and the high cost of raw materialsthe instability of exchange rates and the increase in interest rates were the problems that most affected competitiveness and investment decisions.

«There are regions where optimism is very moderate, and we need to continue encouraging our businessmen to continue believing. We must continue working together, the public and private sectors, to rerecover the optimism of the businessmanto deliver the adequate conditions that improve these dynamics”, said Luis Fernando Pérez.

In addition, he expressed his concern about the impact that the Pan-American Highway blockadesince January 9, an emergency that has not allowed the same economic dynamics of the country in the south of Cauca and Nariño.

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24% of companies project staff cuts

The Business Rhythm Survey also revealed that Bucaramanga concentrates the highest proportion of companies (25.3 percent) that are thinking of increasing their workforce in the first half of 2023.

However, 76.9 percent of companies do not have planes to open new jobs, and 24 percent say it will decrease their payroll.

In the second half of 2022, only 12.6 percent increased their number of employees and 75.1 percent did not increase changes. Medellín, Aburrá del Sur, Barranquilla and Cartagena presented an increase of more than 24 percent in their payroll.

For their part, Cali, Medellín, Bucaramanga and Bogotá registered higher investments in their companies. Among them, Cali (33.6 percent) reported the highest percentage of companies that indicated having carried out some investment in the second half of 2022.

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On the contrary, in Barranquilla the number of businessmen who said they had made more investments in these months compared to the same period in 2021 was lower.

In foreign trade, the number of companies that export continues to be low. 95.5 percent of these did not report external sales during the second half of 2022.

4.5 percent of the companies that export indicated as main destinations United States (31.8 percent) and Ecuador (17.9 percent). Companies that are exporting to European countries also began to appear (7.1 percent).

Regarding the expectations of internationalization, it is observed that, in addition to the preference for the US, Mexico and Spain, 3.4 percent of businessmen are already focused on expand its operations to Venezuela in 2023.

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