Alessandro Benetton met the President of Colombia Uribe today in Bogotá

Discussion topics include Colombia's economic and social development and Benetton Group investment interests. Important new trade agreement in Colombia with the Falabella group

Bogotá, Colombia, October 23, 2009. Alessandro Benetton, Executive Vice Chairman of the Benetton Group, met with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe today in Bogotá. Discussion included the country's economic and social evolution, with particular emphasis on the growth and assurance of foreign investment.

The meeting was part of a business trip to Latin America, where the Benetton Group has had commercial relationships for over 20 years. In particular Mexico where, during the last few days, Alessandro Benetton met Carlos Slim Helú and his son Carlos Slim Domit, owners of the Sears group, with which Benetton signed an important commercial deal last year.

Mr. Benetton and President Uribe discussed Colombia's achievements in the areas of public order and security, its openness to the international markets, and its image abroad. They also addressed the Colombian economy, economic growth rates (among the highest in South America for the past 20 years), and the main investment sectors. In particular, Alessandro Benetton expressed to President Uribe the Group's interest in expanding its commercial operations in Colombia.

In this climate of collaboration and growth, Benetton has officialized a significant trade agreement in Colombia with Falabella, a major South American department store chain. Following the success of similar agreements in Chile and Peru, Benetton will open seven corners (four for women, two for men and one for children) inside Falabella stores during fall/winter 2009. The first three, at Santa Fé shopping center in Bogotá, will be inaugurated by Alessandro Benetton during this trip. The corners will join Benetton's eight other stores in Colombia, and additional openings are planned for spring/summer 2010.

Alessandro Benetton's trip to Latin America began in Mexico (October 20-21), where he assessed the Group's commercial progress one year following its return to the country, in collaboration with local partner Sears. Mexico now has 18 United Colors of Benetton stores and about 120 corners in Sears department stores. By the end of 2011  points of sale are expected to rise to a total of 215, as Benetton aggressively pursues development in this key market of the Americas.


For further information:

+39 0422 519036