Colombia, Central America and the needle trade

Two Colombian textile and apparel sector companies are expanding in Central America, with the expectation of creating some new 1,700 jobs, mostly in Nicaragua, the result of a US$8 million investment by Cali-based Supertex.

A subcontractor for sportswear brands, which include Adidas, Nike y Under Armour, Supertex expects to hire 1,500 garment workers within three years of operation.

The company, established in 1983, has two facilities in Colombia, with a total of 2,000 employees, and a monthly capacity of 900.000 units, and two in El Salvador with 2.400 workers and a capacity of 1.1 million.

Bogota-based Proquinal for its part will hire 160 employees, as part of a US$24-million expansion of its plant in Alajuela, Costa Rica, which since 2004 has been producing vinyl-coated fabrics for the automotive and marine industries.

Proquinal is part of United States-based Spradling Group, with sales in 70 countries.

As of last year, Colombian investment abroad was valued at some US$50 billion, of which nearly a quarter went to Central America.

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