• Colombia


     Development Challenges
    Colombia´s GDP grew by 4.9% to reach US$467 billion in 2011, thus closing a decade of strong economic performance.. As the government continues promoting economic liberalization, , foreign direct investment –mostly in the oil sector- reached a record high of US$ 13 billion in 2011. The agricultural sector is also of great importance to the economy because of its contribution to employment and exports. The mining and hydrocarbons sectors, currently at 18% of GDP, also generate large amounts of export earnings. Despite good macroeconomic performance, inequality, underemployment and illicit drug trafficking remain significant challenges. Most recently, natural disasters have prompted the launching of a national development plan to rebuild Colombian infrastructure highly damaged by severe flooding in the last two years. The country faces development challenges such as:

    • Recover from natural disasters and rebuild damaged infrastructure
    • Maintain internal peace and security
    • Fight against illicit drug trafficking 
    • Reduce poverty and inequality. 45% of Colombians currently live under the poverty line
    • Create jobs and sustain economic growth. Colombia has one of the highest unemployment rates in Latin America at 10.8% 
    • Reduce informality and underemployment, currently at 30.3% 
    • Increase productivity and competitiveness 
    • Attain environmental sustainability and develop natural disaster risk prevention programs 

    Key trade issues  

    • Colombia’s the three main priorities are tourism, foreign direct investment and exports 
    • Implement the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, which was ratified by the U.S. Congress in October 2011
    • Finalize trade Agreements with the European Union, Korea, Turkey and Panama
    • Create a business environment that helps enterprises start and develop their export business
    • Develop a strong services export strategy 
    • Diversify exports and trading partners. Colombia’s main exports are petroleum, coffee, coal, nickel, emeralds, apparel, bananas, and cut flowers. 42% of exports go to the United Sates

    Government Priorities  

    • Encourage international relationships with neighboring countries such as Venezuela and Ecuador
    •  Conclude and expand preferential trade agreements
    • Deepen integration of the Pacific Arc (Chile, Peru and Mexico)
    • Regional cooperation within Latin American and the Caribbean, including UNASUR and the Andean Community of Nations
    • Reduce public debt
    • Reinforce income generation policy 
    • Job creation notably for vulnerable population (extreme poor and displaced) in public works
    • Reduce environmental impact 



    Trade and Tariff Graphs

    Graphs of the country’s export markets, its export performance in a key sector and tariffs exporters of a sample product face.
    Trademap sample Trademap sample: The map uses color codes to illustrate the relative size of different markets in the overall exports of the country shown in pink.
    Trademap sample Trademap sample: The vertical axis shows import values by key importing countries, while the horizontal axis shows export values by the country for the same sector. I.e. the country has gained market share in the case of an importing country at the bottom right of chart and lost market share for countries top left. The size of circles is proportional to market size.
    Market access map sample Market access map sample: The world map shows trade values and tariff levels for a key export product by importing countries. Color codes indicate protection levels. Red circles denote trade volumes.

    Trade and Investment Data

    Detailed data on the country’s export performance, key imports and foreign investment, grouped by product and service categories (HS and BOP).

    Trade Information Sources

    A listing of country specific print and online publications on trade related topics. Includes information from both ITC and external sources.

    Trade Contacts

    The most important trade contacts, including importers’ and exporters’ associations, trade support institutions, trade promotion organizations and institutions providing business development assistance.