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GC Powerlist Colombia

GC Powerlist > GC Powerlist: Colombia

GC POWERLIST: COLOMBIA

For 30 years, The Legal 500 has been analysing the capabilities of law firms across the world. The GC Powerlist is the latest publication from The Legal 500, turning its attention to the in-house function, and recognising those corporate counsel who are driving the legal business forward. The latest edition is the GC Powerlist: Colombia, which identifies an array of the most influential and innovative in-house counsel working in the region...read more

GC Powerlist: Colombia

(listed in alphabetical order; click on an individual to view an expanded biography)

Image of Jorge Carey, Chairman, Carey

Sponsor – Colombia


Tatiana Garcés Carvajali
Partner
Baker McKenzie


Undoubtedly, Colombia is facing one of its most interesting times in years. The country has endeavoured in a tremendous way to achieve outstanding outcomes in terms of economical and political stability. More than ever, recent governments have followed a consistent growth path based on a credible, dynamic and resilient economic system, which has increased the international community’s attention. Broadly speaking, Colombia has been effective in combining better security indicators with facts that have contributed to improving economic dynamism. Amongst them we can refer to the large scale infrastructure program.

According to our mergers and acquisitions forecast 2019, foreign investment in Colombia is expected to be around $4.2bn by the end of 2018. Though it is true that several corruption scandals at a regional level disrupt investors’ confidence, Colombia’s institutional framework, the existence of an orthodox monetary policy, a working judicial system and clear actions supporting free trade – key factors for the recent accession of Colombia to the OECD – show Colombia as a reliable destination for doing business. In fact, when compared against the region, Colombia ranks third as the largest and fastest-growing Latin American economy. The exchange rate of the Colombian peso vis-á-vis the US dollar remains stable and maintains the country’s competitiveness. An ambitious $12bn 4G toll road plan, which is now turning to its fourth phase, in addition to further infrastructure concessions in railways, ports and airports, allow Colombia to keep a constant growth path (by reaching aggregate levels of almost 3%). Summing up, opportunities for investment and growth in key sectors such as agribusiness and infrastructure, have prompted better dynamism in business opportunities.


We cannot ignore that Colombia still faces significant challenges and the legal community, in particular, will play a key role in dealing with them. Perhaps the most salient obstacle is the uncompetitive country’s tax regime. President elect Ivan Duque has declared the strategic importance of submitting a tax reform bill to congress aimed at reducing tax burden on Colombian companies (especially SMEs and startups). Since 2015, attempts to restore Colombia’s competitiveness without sacrificing revenue, have been halted by international drops in oil prices (upon which Colombian exports and investments depend in excess), and an adverse political landscape (caused by a lack of voters’ confidence on some public institutions and the rejection by referendum of the first version of the peace agreement with FARC) both led the current government unable to obtain the structural changes that the tax regime requires.

We need to stay focused on our country’s major strengths, most of which are already mentioned in this document. Colombia’s defining moment must lead us to realise that many and great challenges are still in the path to a bright future. It is known that matters related to compliance in all areas, data privacy, innovation and human rights grow in importance by the day. In this context, it will be necessary to work alongside a reliant partner that helps you overcome the challenges of competing and being successful both in a very complex, dynamic local environment and in a globalised world. What makes us different is the way in which we think, work and behave, combining a global perspective with a multicultural approach allowing us to establish cooperation relationships providing a useful and innovative advisory.

With over 6,000 attorneys in 47 countries we have an in-depth understanding of the specific business culture of the different industries around the world, making Baker McKenzie the premier global law firm. We are capable of contributing with the necessary talent and experience to easily approach the most complex, multidisciplinary and multijurisdictional matters. Specifically in Colombia, for more than 80 years we have been helping our clients succeed by simplifying and navigating a complex country and world. This means that as well as understanding the economy at a global scale, our local roots allow us to understand the risks and opportunities of doing business in Colombia.

Last but not least, it is worth mentioning that we are highly committed to strengthening our society by the means of three basic pillars: Diversity and Inclusion, Sustainability and Gender Equality. Our pro bono mission is to deliver first-class legal services to the underserved and disadvantaged by fostering an environment that encourages and promotes service as to the well-being of the communities in which we practice and live. In addition, our belief is that diversity and inclusion creates a positive workforce environment, but building a diverse workforce is also the smart business thing to do. Finally, our day-to-day work reflects our commitment to align our policies and operations with the United Nations Global Compact’s principles in the areas of human rights, fair labour, the environment and anti-corruption, and to support the UN’s Sustainable development goals.



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