Colombia - Country Information

Robust growth

Colombia has quickly emerged as one of the most important economies in Latin America. Real GDP growth has averaged 4.7% in the past decade, though it slowed to 2% in 2016 due to low global oil prices1. The World Bank expects Colombia’s growth to strengthen over 2018-2019, driven by the recovery of non-oil exports, strengthening oil prices, and the government’s ambitious infrastructure programme.

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Emerging middle class

Colombia’s rapidly-growing middle class is expected to comprise 37% of the population in 2020 and 46% in 2025, up from 30.5% in 20152. This means growing consumer demand, representing opportunities in sectors such as retail. The growth of the middle class is also expected to raise demand for quality infrastructure and utilities like transport, electricity and water.

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Familiar growth sectors

Colombia’s major growth sectors are in line with our capabilities, giving Singapore firms excellent opportunities to display their strengths. These include oil and gas, with Colombia currently producing 886,000 barrels a day3, and infrastructure, with the government's plan to invest US$70 billion in infrastructure through 2035. Colombia is also consolidating its position as one of the most important IT providers in the region, with growing ICT development in IT, business process outsourcing (BPO), IT outsourcing, shared services and apps.

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Venture to Colombia

With a welcoming policy towards foreign investment, Colombia is expected to remain one of Latin America’s most attractive markets. Foreign investors receive the same legal treatment as local investors. Colombia’s improving security and relative political stability has drawn increasing foreign direct investment in the energy, financial, infrastructure and mining sectors.

Colombia’s commitment to a broad range of institutional and structural reforms over the past few decades have strengthened its economy and made it one of the most business-friendly countries in Latin America. Notably, the government established the Private Council for Competitiveness to enhance public-private partnership in 2007.

 

 

1: CIA World Factbook, 2017

2: Colombia’s official investment agency PROCOLOMBIA, 2017

3: CIA World Factbook, 2016

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Geography:
Colombia is located on the northern end of South America, with coasts on the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. It has a land area of 1,138,910km2 and borders Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Panama.

Population:
47.7 million (est. July 2017)

Ease of Doing Business Ranking: 
59th (June 2017)

Economic Freedom Ranking:
37th (2017)

Bilateral Trade:
S$453.9 million (2016)

Currency used: 
Colombian peso (COP)

Language:
Spanish

 

Geography:
Barranquilla is a major industrial centre, with activities concentrated in commerce, finance, fishing, industry and services.

Population: 
1.99 million

Source: CIA World Factbook, 2015

 

Geography:
The capital of Colombia and its largest city by population, Bogota is an oil and gas hub, with most of the country’s oil and gas companies housed there. Other major industries in the city include financial services, manufacturing and tourism.

Population: 
9.77 million

Source: CIA World Factbook, 2015

Geography:
The third largest city by population, its major industries include fishing, manufacturing and port activity.

Population:
2.65 million

Source: CIA World Factbook, 2015

Geography: 
Located on the Caribbean coast, Cartagena is a major tourist destination and an important port.

Population:
1.09 million

Source: CIA World Factbook, 2015

Geography:
Medellin is Colombia’s second largest city by population and one of its economic sectors. Its main industries are apparel and textile, fashion, pharmaceutical and steel.

Population:
3.91 million

Source: CIA World Factbook, 2015