International business in Colombia

The Republic of Colombia is a unitary, constitutional republic comprising 32 departments. Its diverse bank of various ethnic descendants includes Africans, Spanish, European and Middle East cultures. This vast land is where 10% of the world’s animal and bird life dwell, making it a brilliant indicator of the country’s abounding natural resources and freshwater reserves.

Colombia follows a political system in which the National Electoral Council regulates and controls elections and election results. Colombians elect a Head of State, a Legislature and the President. The President’s tenure lasts for four years.

Colombia has a history of political and criminal violence yet the Colombians take their voting seriously and have risen with a surprisingly stable electoral democracy.

On another positive note, the Colombian government recently initiated a reform program to boost trade and foreign investment in the country. This was also urged by a boom in the petrochemical sector and improved relations and peace talks with a militant group, FARC.

Colombia’s vital data (as of 2019)

Population (million) 51.39
GDP (billion USD) 323
GDP per capita (USD) 6,428
GDP per capita PPP (USD) 16,012
Purchasing power per dollar, compared to the USA 171%
Surface area (sq km) 1,143
% of population living in urban areas 81.1%
% of GDP added by agriculture – industry – services 6.74% – 26.27% – 57.53%
Ease of doing business index (1 = best, 189 = lowest) 67

What are Colombia’s most promising business sectors?

Colombia’s most promising sectors include:

  • Construction
  • Infrastructure
  • Renewable energy
  • Machinery
  • Manufactured automotive products
  • FMCG
  • Healthcare
  • Domestic appliances
  • Electronics
  • Agriculture – coffee, cut flowers, tobacco, cacao beans, sugar cane, bananas, rice and more.

Colombia’s top export commodities:

Commodity Worth in USD Percentage of total exports
Oil 35.8 billion 65.5%
Coffee, tea and spices 2.5 billion 4.6%
Gems, precious stones, coins 1.8 billion 3.4%
Plastics 1.6 billion 3%
Live trees and plants 1.4 billion 2.5%

Who are Colombia’s top trade partners?

  • United States
  • China
  • Mexico
  • Spain
  • Netherlands

What are Colombia’s important events?

Colombia is an active trade show and event destination. Trade fairs in Colombia are mostly held in Bogota, Medellin, and Cali and cover many industries such as art and crafts, Agro Food, apparel, packaging, electronics and much more. There are also many sports events in Colombia. The most popular sports are football and cycling.

Though corruption and crime are ingrained in the Colombian fabric, the land holds great potential as a trade alliance. It holds established Free Trade Agreements with a number of countries including Chile, Panama, Canada, United States, European Union, Mexico, Venezuela, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and is looking for more. This projects a keen attitude towards increasing trade relations.

A complete market research will help you understand the country and formulate your international expansion strategy.

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