Zone Profile: Zona Franca Bogotá
Over these 20 years, ZFB has raised more than $200 million USD, and created around 90,000 direct and indirect jobs. In 2013, the creation of "UNIFRANCA Alliance" boosted ZFB as a pioneer in the development of major alliances with universities and training centers for workers and user companies.
In February, 1993, Zona Franca de Bogotá S.A. (ZFB) was incorporated as a Free Trade Zone Operator and 100 hectares of land belonging to a dairy farm was acquired. (1)
The project initiative was led by several promoters of the private Free Trade Zone Regime in Colombia, including, Martín Gustavo Ibarra, Rodrigo Escobar Navia, Enrique Peñalosa Camargo, Oscar Pérez Gutiérrez, Diego Rivera Concha, Fernando Rivera Concha, Álvaro Rivera Concha, Ignacio de Guzmán, Alfredo Carvajal, and Harold Zangen. (2)
Over these 20 years, ZFB has raised more than $200 million USD, and created around 90,000 direct and indirect jobs. In 2013, the creation of "UNIFRANCA Alliance" boosted ZFB as a pioneer in the development of major alliances with universities and training centers for workers and user companies. (2)
In 2018, they were ranked by the Financial Times as the Best Free Zone in the Americas, Best Free Zone Specializing in BPO, Best Free Zone in Education and Training and Best Free Zone with Language Program. (1)
ZFB is a 64-hectare business park with 20 years of experience. It is the only free zone in the urban area of Bogota, located only 6 kilometers from El Dorado International Airport, which allows a short and safe logistics corridor to the main air cargo terminal in the country and low costs for international logistics distribution activities.
They adapt their space to the needs of each client. At the moment, they have warehouses available warehouses from 800 m2 and yards for lease from 50 m2. (5)
ZFB is very modern and makes use of technology. Since the creation of “Programa Integral de Control de Inventarios en Zonas Francas” (PICIZ), a software focused on the integrated management of logistics and foreign trade operations in free trade zones (6), they reduced the departure times of cargo vehicles by 20% and eliminated waiting times for 60% of inbound operations. (7)
Since its creation, ZFB has had several tenants. In 2007, Teledatos (today Teleperformance) was the first BPO user. In 2009, ZFB completed the first building for the services sector. In 2014, they had at least three Data Centers, while some SEZs in Colombia only built their first data center in the last two years. Finally, in July, 2015, ZFB finished the specialized space for BPO, KPO, ITO, SSC and outsourcing service companies. (2)
In recent years, companies have had to renew themselves and change their business plans. Despite the economic breakdown since the pandemic, around 30 to 50% of tenants had recovered by September, 2021. (8). ZFB is still the home to more than 380 industrial, commercial and service companies (9), with the majority being international and focused on logistics, such as Logistic International Group ZF SAS (LIG), Alpasar, Green Cargo, Amazon (10), and Dreams Storage.
According to the Law Decree 278 of March 15, 2021 (11) all SEZs in Colombian territory should have the following benefits and incentives for their users:
Among the tax benefits (12) are:
- Income tax rate of 20%.
- No customs duties (VAT and tariffs) are caused or paid.
- VAT exemption for raw materials, inputs and finished goods acquired in the National Customs Territory.
On the other hand, customs and international commerce benefits (12) include:
- Partial processing between companies in a free trade zone and the TAN (National Customs Territory).
- Warehousing for unlimited time without payment of nationalization taxes or VAT.
- Partial nationalization of raw materials or finished products.
- Use of DTA or OTM for transfer from ports and border crossings, the goods movement form serves as DEX.
- Verification of inventories prior to nationalization and payment only for goods for sale and not for defective goods for rejection.
- Goods manufactured or transformed in FTZs are considered national, they are treated as goods coming from the TAN when they meet the origin criteria.
- DIAN officials dedicated to the attention of users' operations.
- Possibility of sorting and redistributing goods (Picking & Packing) without haste and without having them nationalized.
- International logistic distribution for the Americas from Colombia.
- Free movement of goods from free zones to free warehouses and ports.
Finally, besides the tax and regulatory incentives, there are other motivations for foreign investment in ZFB, and that includes the famous hotel complex Ramada Encore, constructed by Oikos and Contempo, with an investment of $28.5 million USD. (13)
ZFB wanted to create 3,000 jobs (14) and since its inauguration has created more than 90,000, in addition to operating 50% of the SEZs in Colombia, since they first expanded as a transitory Operating User in the Cúcuta Free Trade Zone and the Santa Marta Free Trade Zone in 2001.
They have always been characterized by being pioneers of many commercial trends around fracZones. In 2020 they secured an investment of $46.6 million USD and the authorization of the extension of ZFB for 30 years more, until 2053. (9)
What is next for ZFB?
ZFB contributes 0.8% of the country's formal employment and 1.26% of the employment generated in the city of Bogota. With the extension, ZFB will generate new formal job vacancies, with a growth rate between 3 and 4 percent annually. (9)
In the upcoming years, ZFB will work on a new industrial park measuring 268 hectareas in Clemencia (Bolívar) for companies that require large spaces to set up their plants (8) and the development of their private equity fund Zuma Activos Inmobiliarios, which was launched in October, 2021, and will invest between 20% and 30% of the AUM of the fund. (15)
See more about ZFB in our Open Zone Map here.
- 20 years of the ZFB and the development of Bogotá; Semana
- ZFB Official Website. History and Evolution; Zona Franca Bogota
- FEPCO company profile; FEPCO
- COMTEC company profile; COMTEC
- ZFB Official Website. Warehouses; Zona Franca BP
- PICIZ: an ally of special economic zones in the digital era; Zona Franca Bogota
- ZFB, leader in the digital era; Forbes Centro America
- ZFB is already up to economic reactivation; El Nuevo Siglo
- With an investment of USD $46.551 M, ZFB announced its expansion; ANALDEX
- Amazon Web opens in ZFB; Valora Analitik
- Law Decree 278 of March 15, 2021; Presidencia https://dapre.presidencia.gov.co/normativa/normativa/DECRETO%20278%20DEL%2015%20DE%20MARZO%20DE%202021.pdf
- SEZ Regime; Zona Franca Bogota
- Hotel Ramada Encore will open in ZFB; Portafolio
- ZFB hopes to create more than 3.000 jobs; Portafolio
- ZFB launched a private equity fund; Portafolio