15th April 2020

Central & South America

What makes Colombia a great destination for Foreign Direct Investment?

by Flavia Santoro, President of ProColombia

Colombia is an expanding economy, increasingly attracting the attention of international investors and buyers. This much is evident from the international press coverage, not to mention the economic reports and studies that regard Colombia as an emerging power in Latin America.

Promising predictions

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have highlighted the Colombian economy as one of the most solid in the region. The country's economy is expected to grow by 3.4% this year, above the average of the group's other members.

These predictions are in line with those from the International Monetary Fund, which has said Colombia will have some of the best growth figures in the world in 2019. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, for its part, ranked Colombia as the third country attracting most foreign investment in Latin America and among the top 30 worldwide.

This is largely a result of the economic recovery plan that President Iván Duque launched at the beginning of his term and which has, so far, produced good results, including an increase in foreign direct investment. This economic growth agenda has shown to be a promising influence on the economy creating jobs, developing regions, and increasing competitiveness and productivity.

Pro-investment policies

That the Columbian government is pro-investment is clear from the recent efforts to create adequate conditions for development, offering institutional stability and legal certainty. This facilitates matters for investors who require a responsive government when doing business in any of Colombia’s regions.

Colombia is a safe destination in which to invest and investor interest continues to rise.

At the close of the third quarter of 2019, Colombia saw global inbound flows of US$10.8 billion, a significant increase on last year's figure of $8.6 billion. Of this total, 63.8% or US$6.8 billion reached non-mining energy sectors such as agriculture; manufacturing; electricity, gas and water; construction; commerce, restaurants and hotels; transportation and storage; as well as community and financial services. This kind of investment registered an increase of 18.1% compared to the same period last year.

Due to investors’ increasing interest, the administration is implementing a strategy that offers important incentives to encourage direct foreign investment megaprojects and to boost the current free trade zone model.

In addition to these important components in the plan to attract foreign investment, which in turn promotes economic growth, we at ProColombia are working on developing sectoral tax schemes and promoting various red- carpet strategies - including tax, institutional, regulatory, legal, and financial tools - in a bid to make Colombia as attractive an investment as possible.

Our aim at ProColombia, the country’s investment, exports, and tourism promotion agency is to incentivise and boost more foreign direct investment in Colombia, as much in the stock market as in the diverse productive sectors in which we have important trade opportunities. We want to encourage the inflow of resources to undertake lucrative projects in the public and private sectors across Colombia.

Colombia offers a variety of opportunities to international investors, from the manufacturing, construction and infrastructure sectors, ranging from car manufacturing and raw materials production to major infrastructure projects.

We are calling on foreign investors to join our projects to modernise roads, railways, river transportation, and airports.

There is also huge potential in Colombia’s creative industries for international investors. Our country offers one of the lowest operating costs for the provision of IT services and it is home to the World Economic Forum’s only Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the Spanish-speaking world.

Colombia is the fourth most active Latin American country in the agricultural, forestry, and fisheries sectors. Agriculture is one of our biggest sectors, as our country is home to more than 32 million hectares available to grow fruit, vegetables, cacao, coffee, and tea, to name just a few. Our rich biodiversity also presents innovative opportunities in the cosmetics, chemicals and life sciences sectors.

Tourism continues to grow every year, not just in the number of visitors but also in the range of possibilities for the hospitality services industry. This is in large part due to the variety of regions, climates, landscapes and niche business areas.

The Colombian government is focused on developing and consolidating current investment and on attracting key companies. ProColombia aims to boost Colombia’s position as a hot spot for investment and exports. We seek to generate greater entrepreneurship and opportunities in shaping the future of Colombia.

As an investor, you can count on the support of the Government of Colombia. We are committed to business and investors, as well as to the development of entrepreneurship and creative industries, one of the keys to economic reactivation and job creation. Why not find out for yourself and explore all the reasons why Colombia is a world-class investment destination?