Discover Colombia

Forecasted trends

Colombia’s economy is on the rise, thanks in part to its natural resources and size of the growing domestic market. This economic outlook shows Colombia has plenty elements to become a key player in the global market.

FARC peace deal

Over the past 50 years Colombia has suffered from an armed conflict, the most well-know guerilla group is the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Despite this conflict, Colombia’s democratic system has been resilient and stable. In 2016 after a long negotiation between the Colombian government and the FARC , a final peace agreement was signed. According to the MVO: “A post conflict process brings new opportunities for the Colombian society and business as well as new challenges to rebuild the country and bring security, justice and prosperity for all” (March, 2016).
Since 2014 Colombia is candidate to join the OECD. OECD is the organisation for economic Co-operation and Development. This brings opportunities, for example in the areas of CSR and compliance with OECD guidelines. To become a full OECD member Colombia must meet a rigorous and comprehensive set of requirements, including compliance and respect for human, environmental and labour rights.

Colombia has free trade agreements with the EU, both including a sustainability clause to safeguard human rights and uphold environmental standards under the agreement.

Growing Coffee Market

Colombian coffee is an important commodity which has helped the country economically develop. European demand, high quality coffee beans and the new post-FARC era gives way to great investment opportunities.

Today colombia is the biggest producer of Arabica, one of the highest quality beans available. The coffee triangle consists of the three Colombian regions; Caldas, Risaralda and Quindio, a UNESCO heritage site and the place of production of some of the smoothest coffee in the world. The high potential and quality of the production is due to the combination of unique conditions; temperature with exceptionally rich soils. The Colombian Coffee Federation (FNC) helps local farmers thrive towards excellence, while using organic pesticides to create products that appeal to European and US markets. The European Union has the greatest average consumption per capita and imports 45% of the worlds coffee production, making it the largest market. Due to recent increases in free trade  agreements between EU and Colombia, and an increase in coffee imports of 9.2% between 2015-2016 European demand is on rise, contributing to the potential of the Colombian Coffee Market.

Growing Middle Class

Colombia has achieved an important increment of the middle class. For 2020, 44% of the population is expected to move to that range, and 60% for 2025. Thereby, 55%  of the Colombian population is less than 30 years old. Colombia has the best-qualified workers and is the second most flexible labour market in Latin America. In effect, Colombia has a very good education system and the literacy rate is around 95%.

Infrastructural improvements

The country is strategically located with access to both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. The ports in the Caribbean and Pacific oceans, gives Colombia the best position in South America as a dispatch center for Central America, North America and Europe (PWC, 2016). The El Dorado Airport is already the Number 1 cargo airport in South America (Forbes, 2016). Besides this Barranquilla Port is upgrading and expanding, Cali airport is building a new terminal. Highways from Bogota to Medellin are in the works, $ 70 billion is currently invested in infrastructure projects. Roads, bridges and tunnels are the top priority as Colombia depends on an old road network for over 80% of its domestic logistics (Forbes, 2016) 

“We are strong believers in Colombia’s long-term growth outlook, so much so that we have an office in Bogotá where we invest in infrastructure,” says Jan Dehn, head of research at Ashmore Group in London, a $52.6 billion fund manager. “You don’t get a stronger expression of commitment than that,” he says.