Business in Colombia

EENI- School of International Business

Subject Subject (Course): International Trade and Doing Business in Colombia Bogota. Syllabus:

  1. Introduction to the Republic of Colombia
  2. Colombian Economy.
  3. Case Study:
    - Business Process Outsourcing Sector
    - Information Technology Services
    - Agribusiness
    - Manufacturing
    - Cosmetics
    - Textile
    - Automotive.
  4. Colombian Foreign Trade
  5. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Colombia.
  6. Doing Business in...
    - Bogota
    - Barranquilla
    - Medellin.
  7. Case Study: Business Opportunities in Bogota:
    - Contact centres
    - Business Process Outsourcing/Shared Services
    - Information Technology Sector
    - Medical Devices
    - Pharmaceutical
    - Cosmetics
    - Audiovisual Production
  8. Case Study:
    - South American Investment Group.
    - Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo
  9. Introduction to Spanish
  10. Access to the Colombian Market
  11. Business Plan for Colombia

Aims of the subject “Foreign Trade and Doing Business in the Republic of Colombia”:

  1. To analyse the Colombian economy and foreign trade
  2. To evaluate business opportunities in Colombia
  3. To explore Colombia's trade relations with the student's country
  4. To know Colombia's Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)
  5. To examine the profile of Colombian businesspeople and companies
  6. To develop a business plan for the Colombian Market


Subject “Doing Business in Colombia” is studied...
  1. Masters (e-learning): International Business, America, Pacific, and Emerging Markets
  2. Doctorate in Business in America
  3. Course: the Andean Markets

Course learning materials in English or Spanish Colombia French Colombie Portuguese Colombia.

  1. Credits of the subject “Foreign Trade and Doing Business in Colombia”: 2 ECTS Credits / 1 AC Credits
  2. Duration: two weeks

Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo, the richest men in Colombia:
Luis Sarmiento Colombian Businessman

Dr Henry Acuña Barrantes (EENI Professor in Colombia)

Description Subject Description (Doing Business in Colombia).

The Republic of Colombia.

  1. Colombia is the oldest and most stable democracy throughout the region.
  2. Colombia's official language is Spanish.
  3. With nearly 48 millions of people, Colombia ranks third in population in Latin America (after Brazil and the United Mexican States).
  4. Surface of Colombia: 1,141,748 square kilometres
  5. Colombia ranks first in the Andean Community member countries regarding transparency of Government policies (World Competitiveness Yearbook)
  6. Some of the most important publications in the World like the New York Times or The Guardian have given special consideration to the new image Colombia is projecting to the world.
  7. Colombia's borders: Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, and Venezuela.
  8. Capital: Bogotá
  9. Colombia gained independence from Spain in 1810
  10. Abolition of slavery in Colombia: 1851
  11. African Diaspora in Colombia: 9 millions of people (21% of the Colombian population)

The main religion in Colombia is Christianity (42 million): Catholicism (38 million) and Protestantism (1 million Colombians).

The Republic of Colombia belongs to the Latin American Economic Area of the Western Christian Civilisation.

Sample of the subject - Foreign Trade and Doing Business in Colombia
Colombian Economy and Foreign Trade

Colombian Economy.

  1. The Republic of Colombia is advantageously situated at a middle point between North and South America.
  2. Colombia is in the same time zone as the East Coast of the United States which is an advantage compared to other countries as it facilitates Call-centre activities and Business Process Outsourcing from Colombia to the entire continent.
  3. The Republic of Colombia is one of the most steady economies in Latin America. Macroeconomic indices also reveal the stability of Colombia.
  4. Colombian economy is the fourth in Latin America (International Monetary Fund) or fifth according to the World Bank (WB).
  5. Colombia has had sustained economic growth above the average of the Andean Community member countries.
  6. 2014: Slowdown in the Colombian Economy
  7. Colombia offers investors the option of signing legal stability contracts
  8. Bogotá (7 millions of people) is the economic centre of Colombia and the most attractive city for doing business in the Andean Community (Source: America Economia), Bogota generates 40% of Colombian GDP.
  9. According to the World Bank (WB), Colombia is the Latin American economy that has implemented more reforms to facilitate business.
  10. Colombia has in place several FTAs and tariff preferences
  11. More than 700 multinational companies have investments in the Republic of Colombia: Procter Gamble, Johnson Johnson, 3M, SAB Miller, Telefonica, Nestle
  12. The currency of Colombia is the Peso.
  13. The inflation rate has been substantially reduced over the last few years to reach 4.5%.
  14. Foreign debt has been reduced by 20% of the gross domestic product in the past few years.

Bogota is the cultural and political centre of the Republic of Colombia, and its leading city in education, international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI). Over the last few years, 700 multinational companies have had excellent results Bogota has access to USD 29 million markets.

Barranquilla is the industrial and harbour centre.

  1. Barranquilla is the fourth-largest city in the Colombia
  2. Barranquilla has a strategic location, only two and one-half hours from the United States and one hour from Panama, with a population of 1 Million people and a diversified economy, with strengths in the metal industry, the logistics and the energy industry among others.
  3. Barranquilla has near twenty-five maritime, fluvial and air ports with facilities for the transport of all types of cargo through several highways connecting the rest of Colombia and the world.

Medellín (second biggest city in the Republic of Colombia) is responsible for 8% of the Colombian gross domestic product and 25% of the nontraditional exports in Colombia. Medellin is considered to offer the third best quality of life in Latin America.

  1. The Medellín Metropolitan Area produces 67% of the Department of Antioquia's gross domestic product and 11% of the economy of Colombia.
  2. One of the biggest group in Colombia is the Antioquian Companies Group.

Colombia Medellin Business

Colombian Foreign Trade.

  1. Colombian exports were 30,580 million dollars
  2. The main Colombian export markets are Venezuela, Ecuador, and the United States (the largest trading partner, 35% of the total exports, FTA in force).
  3. Colombian imports were 31,170 million dollars.
  4. Colombia imported mainly from the United States, Brazil, Mexico, China, Venezuela, and Japan.
  5. The main export products of Colombia are coffee, flowers, and tropical fruits.

Proexport took the mission of giving assistance to potential foreign investors in the Republic of Colombia and the already established ones, by promoting International Trade and foreign direct investment opportunities and by identifying obstacles in the investment mood always aiming to improvement; tasks that until that moment had been performed by “Convertir.”

FDI in Colombia.

  1. Invest in Bogota is the investment promotion agency for Bogota, Colombia, founded by the City Government and the Bogota Chamber of Commerce. Their mission is to supply assistance for investors who wish to locate in Greater Bogota.
  2. Foreign direct investment (FDI) has grown considerably. 700 multinational companies have investments in Colombia
  3. The Republic of Colombia provides investors with the chance of entering into 3- to 20-year legal stability agreements which guarantee that rules related to the investment determinants will remain unchanged and will continue to apply for the duration of the agreement.

Group Inversions Suramericana is a holding company, listed on the Colombian Stock Exchange and registered with the ADR-Level I programme in the United States, which holds a significant portfolio of investments in leading Colombian companies as well as other important stakes in other American countries. This portfolio is mainly concentrated in strategic investments in the financial, insurance and social security sectors and is complemented by other investments in services, food, and cement sectors.

Colombia's Organisations and Trade Agreements

  1. Andean Community
  2. Association of Caribbean States (ACS)
  3. Latin American Integration Association (ALADI)
  4. Pacific Alliance
  5. Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)
  6. Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA)
  7. Free Trade Agreements with the United States, Mexico, the Northern Triangle, Chile, Canada, the CARICOM, and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
  8. Free Trade Agreements (as a member of the Andean Community) with the MERCOSUR (Associated), Chile, Mexico, Panama, and the European Union.
  9. Trade Relations: India, China, and Russia
  10. Colombia has signed the OECD anti-corruption measures

Samples - Business in Colombia

Colombia Case Study

CARICOM-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

Andean Community

Hubs in Latin America

Colombia, Peru-European Union Free Trade Agreement

Colombia-Canada Free Trade Agreement

Colombia-EFTA Free Trade Agreement

United States-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

Andean Community-MERCOSUR Free Trade Agreement

Colombia-Northern Triangle Free Trade Agreement

Mesoamerica trade

U-EENI University