Invest in Colombia !
1. The World Bank (Doing Business Report, 2011) catalogues Colombia as the fifth country in the world, among 183 countries, and as the first in Latin America, to protect investors.
The Colombian investment atmosphere has been considered as one of the most favorable for foreign investment. Colombia is one of the most open economies, in terms of percentage of property own by foreigners, in Latin America. Excepting the broadcasting activities (limited to 40%), every sector is completely open to the participation of foreign capital. Colombia’s country risk, according to JP Morgan Investment Bank, is of 185 points.
According to the World Bank, Colombia is the Latin American country that protects investors the most.
2. Colombia has currently ratified 13 free trade agreements (FTA), signed another 2 and is negotiating other 5.
Through state of the art international trade agreements, Colombia seeks to provide a stable legal environment for national and foreign investment. It also looks for the opening of new export markets for national production, with preferential access, stable and long-lasting. To reach these goals, the country has been working on a policy of attraction of foreign investment which requires the creation and maintenance of a favorable and attractive environment for investors. This has been done through international investment agreements, such as Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Bilateral or Multilateral Investment Treaties (BITs or MITs).
With this better positioning of the country in the international setting, the investment atmosphere in Colombia improved exponentially, standing out as one of the best in Latin America (Doing Business, 2003-2012). The plans to insert the country in a globalized context and the initiative to generate trust among potential foreign investors has led the Intelligence Unit of the Economist (2009) to consider it as one of the emerging economies of the world, and hence, an attractive territory for the reception of fluxes of FDI.
3. Colombia has the best infrastructure in the region. It has 8 high draught ports to the Pacific and the Atlantic that allow easy access to international markets. It is a country that exports energy, assuring the provision of sufficient internal energy for operations of great magnitude.
Colombia has nine ports, seven of them in the Caribbean Coast: the Guajira, Guajira, Santa Marta, Ciénaga, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Golfo de Morrosquillo, Urabáand San Andrés, and two in the Pacific: Buenaventura y Tumaco. It also has 11 airports that allow easier access to international markests.
The energetic infrastructure of Colombia has been catalogued as the best in the región, according to the World Competitiveness Yearbook of the IMD. For 2012, the goal of national electric energy coverage, counting both urban and rural zones, is almost 93%. Colombia is an exporter of energy, which assures sufficient internal energy for operations of great magnitude.
Colombia has 5 submarine cables which generate a bandwidth of more than 550 Gbps. The main cities have 100% coverage in optical fiber.
The Colombian energetic infrastructure has been catalogued as the best in the region, according to the World Competitiveness Yearbook of the IMD.
4. Colombia has the most competitive Free Trade Zones in Latin America.
The free trade zones have incentives such as: income tax of 15%, exemption from customs duties, application of benefits derived from international commercial agreements with the possibility of participating in the local market.
The government is commited to the development of R&D: there are salary and training incentives and tax deductions of up to 175% of the investment for companies that perform R&D projects. The income generated by innovative projects do not count for taxes, and the equipment required for this activities are exempt of VAT.
5. The location of Colombia is ideal for business.
Colombia is in the middle of 5 time zones, and shares its time zone with important business centers, such as New York, Toronto and Miami.
It is 3 hours away, by plane, from Miami, 5 and a half hours from New York, less than 5 hours from México City, 5 hours from Santiago de Chile and only 6 hours from Buenos Aires.
6. Colombia has important human resources.
With over 47 million inhabitants, Colombia is the third most populated country in Latin America, the 24th population in the planet, and the second largest Spanish-speaking population world-wide.
26 schools in the country are signed up for the SAT "Reasoning Test", a key requirement to enter American universities. Additionally, there are 19 schools providing the diploma of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), a test that allows entry to the best universities in the world.
For people interested in the French education system, the Baccalauréat is part of the curriculum of three Colombian schools.
Colombia is characterized for having a high-quality superior education, with two universities in the Latin American top 10.
7. Colombia has a legal regime meant to develop investments.
The International Institute for Managment Development (IMD) classifies Colombia as the second Latin American country in terms of personal security and adequate protection of private property.
During the 1990s, Colombia was characterized for its precarious integration to the global economy, limited to the common Andean regime (Decision 24, 1970) and to a treaty with Mexico in 1995 (G3, now G2). Nevertheless, as of the 1990s, there has been a strong turn in the focus of its commercial policy with the purpose of diversifying its commercial partners and protect its foreign investment. According to the economic integration strategy expressed in the constitution and in its development plan, the objective is to consolidate Colombia as a country one hundred percent reliable and attractive for the development of business with foreign investment.