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'Trying to disqualify companies is a big mistake': Andi

The president of Andi, Bruce Mac Master, analyzes the present and the future of the business union, in light of the book that will be launched this Monday.

'Trying to disqualify companies is a big mistake': Andi
'Trying to disqualify companies is a big mistake': Andi | Image taken from

This Monday, at the Modern Gymnasium in Bogotá, will be the presentation of the book "Andi, eight decades of collective construction", which includes the role of businessmen in the most important moments in the country, in almost 80 years of the National Association of Colombian Entrepreneurs. The publication, the result of the research and writing of Gloria Valencia, confirms that the union represents a group of Colombians committed to the country, says its president, Bruce Mac Master, who warns that any attempt to disqualify companies "is a big mistake ”. What is the idea of ​​the book? Andi turns 80 next year, so we wanted to take a tour, not so much about the Association itself, but about its role in the face of the different economic and political events in the country in these years. The book, which Gloria Valencia works very seriously, is an investigation that began with the foundation in 1944.

How is it narrated? With a series of chapters that correspond to the periods that the country has lived through. It starts with the Postwar period, there is the Rojas Pinilla period, the Military Junta. Then, for example, the National Front, the Constituent Assembly and issues around the economy, the period of drug trafficking and the guerrilla. Then the government of Álvaro Uribe and what implied the efforts of businessmen to strengthen the State, and the later stage with the peace process. What is evidenced? With documents, he demonstrates Andi's position. And also that it has been an important part of the creation of entities. For example, the compensation funds, the Seine, universities. And it has been key in strengthening the Bank of the Republic and public finances at a time when it is necessary to give resources to the State to defeat drug trafficking and the guerrillas. And it ends, even in the period of the pandemic and the post-pandemic, with the tax reform of 2021 when we said from Andi that we assumed the cost of the tax reform. It is an interesting exercise. What concludes? That the Association is much more than a spokesman for the management of its own interests to become a spokesperson for a class of society that has always contributed to it.

What has been the most difficult moment? There has been everything. For example, the pandemic was very difficult and it was my turn to experience it, but I also imagine the moment of the Rojas Pinilla government when the business community adopted a position in defense of democracy. The Constituent Assembly, in the year 91, was also a crucial moment. When reviewing the history, what reflections arise about the present and the future of the guild? It has been very important to ratify the relevance of being part of the most important moments in history. Entrepreneurs are not only the people who move the country, create jobs and produce products and services, but are also a group of Colombians who are highly committed to the country. In the 90s they decided not to leave Colombia and dedicate themselves to moving it forward. And they maintain that decision, very firm, saying that we have to continue working together and that the only thing we ask for are reasonable and stable conditions to be able to operate here. In this way we can be very dynamic agents of all the progress that Colombia deserves. That is ratified for the present moment.

Last week a survey showed that citizens value companies but, on the other hand, the President criticized them. What do you think? The survey of the Universidad del Rosario and the Centro Nacional de Consultoría confirms the opinion of the public. More than 60% not only recognize great value in companies, but are also proud of them. Any attempt to disqualify the companies in themselves or for the activity they carry out is a big mistake because many things depend on the country's success for the companies, including the success of the Government. Sometimes there are some temptations to try to stigmatize or to try to polarize what, in my opinion, is a big mistake. We have time to correct these eventual interpretations so that Colombia is not going to make a mistake, and we are not going to end up doing harakiri because I believe that the fact that companies are not doing well is not good for anyone.

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