As the country enters the lead-up period to the presidential elections in May 2018, we inform you about Colombia’s political and economic forecast in this blog. The sequence of events in the last couple of years has left the country divided politically and has paved the way for independent candidates and those from smaller parties to make their voices heard and appeal to the electorate.
Colombia’s Presidential Candidates in 2018
Currently leading the polls is the left-leaning independent candidate, Sergio Fajardo. The former mayor of Medellin and former governor of Antioquia is known for his stance supporting environmental and social issues. With Fajardo as president, local and foreign businesses may see themselves operating in a more inclusive society and within a more stable infrastructure boosted by increased public spending.
The runner-up candidate is socialist Gustavo Petro, who is also participating as an independent. He is the former mayor of Bogotá and also a former M-19 guerrilla, known for his strong leftist views. If Petro wins the presidency, he may well push forward a strong anti-corruption initiative which in turn would encourage more FDI in the country.
Following in third place is German Vargas. This candidate is the most traditional politician and a conservative alternative to the two above. In his previous role as vice-president, he was responsible for dealing with major infrastructure projects and improving Colombia’s international competitiveness. He can be seen as the most typically business-friendly candidate.
With the abundance of 21 potential candidates, much is up for debate as to the likely outcome of the upcoming elections. One certainty, however, is that whoever does take over the reins will be presented with an opportunity to unite Colombians and lead the country into more prosperous times.
Economic Prospects for Colombia in 2018
In fact, regardless of which candidate becomes president, prospects are looking up for the country and its economy in the coming years. The World Bank has predicted GDP to grow by 2.9% in 2018 (up from 1.7% in 2017) with that number rising to 3.4% in their predictions for 2019 and 2020.
It further explains its optimism for Colombia in its “Global Economic Prospects” report:
“Growth in Colombia is expected to pick up through the forecast period as moderating inflation supports private consumption, export growth recovers on rising oil prices, the 4G road infrastructure program is executed, and structural reforms to enhance competitiveness and foster diversification are implemented.”
Undoubtedly, this is good news for Colombians and, although Colombia is not without its problems, the new president will take office in a much more optimistic economic climate. Consequently, this is also good news for investors or those looking to expand their business abroad and branch out to this dynamic and fast developing part of the world.
If you are currently doing business in Colombia or you’re considering taking the jump; we have a team of 18 dedicated and ambitious master’s students who can help you with any strategic questions you may have. Contact us at email@example.com for more information about how we can help you increase your business in Colombia.
Watch this video from Biz Latin Hub to learn more about why you should invest in Colombia!