Colombia, among the top economies with high foreign direct investment in Latin America
Colombia continues to strengthen its Foreign Direct Investment through investment in hotel infrastructure and manufacturing projects.
BOGOTA - Colombia’s economy ranks fourth in Latin America in foreign direct investment according to the World Investment report of 2015 from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development that analyzed data from 2014 in regards of economy stability, international growth and industry diversification. Procolombia, the Colombian government promotion agency has played an important role in achieving this growth by promoting Foreign Direct Investment and attracting investors from the Caribbean to the country.
According to the World Investment Report, the country is ranked 18th overall, surpassing its 2013 position by four positions (22 in 2013). The study includes over 150 countries and identifies a continuing trend from year 2013: developing economies absorb more foreign investment than developed countries. The report identifies a total of nine developing nations on the list.
During 2014, Colombia received $16.054 million dollars in Foreign Direct Investment, from which $9.634 million came from non-mining sectors such as manufacturing, transportation and finance. It was a record amount for the country and the second highest in its history. In recent years, FDI to Colombia has maintained a positive and stable trajectory due to its industry diversity offered to international investment projects.
“Colombia remains among largest recipients of investment in Latin America mainly because of the advantages offered to investors and incentives; in addition of being a trade platform for companies aiming to reach the Latin American market thanks to its wide network of allies and Free Trade Agreements in place. These initiatives also contribute the country’s labor force by generating employment primarily in the non-mining sectors”, said Maria Claudia Lacouture, president of Procolombia.
Colombia offers a variety of incentives to Caribbean entrepreneurs in non-mining sectors. In the manufacturing industry, the country allows the establishment of distribution centers servicing to Latin America. The Caribbean market can easily take advantage of Colombia’s strategic location and its thirteen free trade agreements that facilitates transaction and access to more than 1.5 billion consumers. In the service sector, there are opportunities to establish specialized BPO centers for Telemarketing taking advantage of the country’s technical and technological workforce of more than 495,000. In the hospitality sector, investors will find opportunities for eco-luxury hotels, luxury hotels, thalassotherapy centers, spas, theme parks and entertainment centers. The country offers unique incentives for this sector such as the exemption from income tax for a period of 30 years (valid until the year 2017) and 100% deduction of income tax in ecotourism services (Valid until the year 2023).
In Latin America and the Caribbean, Colombia was the fourth destination for Caribbean investment projects with a total of eight. According to FDI Markets, between 2003 and June 2014, the Caribbean directed its investment projects in Colombia to the telecommunications (37.5%); financial services (25.0%), goods and oil services (25.0%) and BPO (12.5%). Some of the Caribbean companies that have chosen the country as an investment destination is the Massy Energy conglomerate (2014), Evertec (2013), and Lanco (2014).