Published On: Mon, Nov 24th, 2014

Colombian energy industry offers Caribbean investors high potential for near-term gains

Global rankings recognize country’s impressive economic improvements in energy sector and beyond

colombian_flagMIAMI – Over the past decade, Colombia has become a leader in the energy sector of Latin America, creating an ideal opportunity for Caribbean investors looking to tap into an emerging energy hub, PROCOLOMBIA announced today. The sector has a potential to generate billions in the next 20 years and create tens of thousands of jobs.

“Colombia’s infrastructure is primed for electrical exportation. We have energy products at low market prices, as well as specialized services such as engineering, installation and operation,” said Maria Claudia Lacouture, President of PROCOLOMBIA,  the Colombian government agency charged with promoting, trade, investment and tourism. “The sector has incredible potential for growth, and we encourage investors from the Caribbean and beyond to take advantage of these opportunities.”

Colombia has positioned itself as an industrial market developer, investing heavily in its natural resources to make them available to national and international companies alike, PROCOLOMBIA says. A natural inclination for generation supply and the transformation and distribution of energy have positioned Colombia as an ideal destination for foreign energy investment. Colombia has taken advantage of these natural strengths to expand its global reach. Its operational knowledge of the sector combined with the country’saccess to both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and proximity to the Caribbean make for high prospects.

Colombia’s potential for growth in the energy sector partially stems from urban “environmental” trends, such as greater use of electricity to power public transportation and the integration of hybrid and electrical vehicles. These trends are already increasing international demand, withdemand for Colombian electricity increasing 2.8 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to the National Administrative Department of Statistics, XM Compañía de Expertos en Mercados S.A ESP. The country has responded to this interest with domestic investment in its infrastructure; in 2013 Colombia’s net effective installed capacityincreased by 1.4 percent, mainly because of the construction of new hydroelectric plants.

Many national companies have been leading the charge on new industry projects. Colombia’s largest energy corporations are Isagen electrical ServicesPublic Enterprises of Medellín (EPM) and the Electricity Company of Bogotá. All three have been investing heavily in the region, in the hopes of long-term infrastructure improvements and near-term profits. For example, in September 2014, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to EPM, the largest electrical utility in Colombia, to evaluate the feasibility of building a geothermal power plant in Colombia.

Projects like this will continue to increase international demand for Colombia’s energy offering and international organizations are taking note. The World Economic Forum’s “2014-2015 Global Competitiveness Report” ranked Colombia at 66th – three spots higher than last year, citing improvements in Colombia’s use and appropriation of technology and infrastructure development. As these accolades continue, Colombia expects investors to line up.

Additionally, The World Bank Group’s report, Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency, ranked Colombia as the number one country in the Latin American and Caribbean regions for ease of doing business and 34th in the world. The report highlights Colombia’s recent successes in the area of regulatory reforms, with 29 business-friendly reforms implemented in the region since 2005.

For more information about PROCOLOMBIA, please visit www.procolombia.co

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