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Furukawa to build fiber optic cable plant in Colombia

Japan's Furukawa Electric Group reports that it will spend approximately US$5 million to build and equip a fiber optic cable plant in Valle del Cauca, Colombia, that it said will be the first of its kind in the Andean region.

A press release at the company's website said that the plant, which it expects will be in production next February, will become the company's third telecommunications plant in South America. The Valle del Cauca plant is located in the city of Palmira, which is in the western side of the country, located in the Pacific Duty Free Zone. The plant will initially 25 direct jobs as well as another 200 indirect jobs resulting from the entire supply chain (civil works construction, logistics, transport, meals, supplies, etc.), it said.

Furukawa, the release said, has been selling structured cabling for the last five years in Colombia through distributors. "The decision to settle in Valle del Cauca...will allow importation of raw materials and exportation of finished products to countries located in the Pacific Ocean, with this plant being the production and distribution hub for the Andean and Central American region." "Our goal is to expand the company's international participation offering complete solutions in telecommunications and IT infrastructure, meeting the needs of each country and market demand through complete client follow-up from civil works conception, with initial assessment of cabling and construction type needs," said Foad Shaikhzadeh, president of Furukawa in Latin America and global vice president of Furukawa Electric.

The release said that the direct foreign investment project "has been analyzed since 2011 by Proexport and Invest Pacific, together with the Japanese company through its branch in Brazil and follow-up visits to Cali and Palmira by Furukawa representatives. " Company employees met with representatives with Emcali and EPSA, the two duty-free zones of Palmira, the head of the Cali Digital Education Programs, Universidad del Valle and other local companies, it said.

" Furukawa is betting on the social development of Valle del Cauca and the country," the release said. The region, it said, will benefit from the technology transfer processes from Furukawa Electric, which is the third largest producer in the world in this field. Some of the employees will be trained in Brazil for a period of six months to later also train local personnel, said Proexpert President MarĂ­a Claudia Lacouture.

"We are very proud to announce Furukawa's arrival at Valle del Cauca, in special to Palmira; the location of this important multinational is a bonus for the municipality," said Invest Pacific Executive Director Maria Eugenia Lloreda. "We can continue saying that our Department is experiencing great events and proof of that is being the pioneers of the Andean region in the construction of an optic fiber cables plant. Our corporate fiber becomes even stronger."

Furukawa notes that it started its activities in Brazil in 1974 with an electric cables plant, and that in 1977 it inaugurated one of the most modern telecommunications cables plants in Curitiba, which is the capital and largest city of the Brazilian state of ParanĂ¡.

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