Some sectors offer exceptional investment opportunities

Colombia is an attractive choice for companies and investors looking to do business in Latin America. The country has gained a level of peace unheard of during the 50 years of armed conflict with the FARC which provides further stability to its already well-diversified economy. Some sectors profit especially from these favorable conditions and offer great opportunities for foreign investors:

Service sector opportunities in Colombia

  • Call Center and BPO

The call center and business process outsourcing (BPO) industry leads the country’s service exports. In recent years, the contact center and BPO sector have grown 15% annually, generating $8.3bn in revenues by 2017 which represents 2.6% of GDP (double from 2005). Colombia’s geographic location (ET time zone), its young and dynamic workforce with a neutral accent, availability of bilingual talent, moderate wage level, advanced infrastructure, political and legal stability, and attractive tax benefits in its free trade zones make the country an ideal regional hub to attend calls from clients in North, Central and South America.

  • Software & IT

The Colombian software & IT sector is one of the largest four in the region together with Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. According to IDC, the industry has doubled its sales over the past 7 years and, in 2017, reached US$ 9.5bn with hardware making up 56.5% of sales, IT services 32.2% and software 11.4%. Strong internal demand is being generated especially by the manufacturing, public, financial and agricultural sectors. Additionally, an increasing number of foreign companies are choosing Colombia for the development of their software services (nearshore / offshore concepts). As companies in the BPO sector, software / IT companies are being attracted by the advanced infrastructure, a large pool of young talent, moderate salary levels and a quality of life in cities such as Medellin that helps attract talent from other countries as well.

  • Agriculture Sector Opportunities in Colombia

The above-mentioned peace-agreement, signed in 2017, has made large parts of Colombia’s countryside accessible for investors looking to tap the country’s huge potential for large-scale agricultural projects. The country offers ideal conditions: intense solar irradiation, warm temperatures, excellent soil, abundant water sources, large unpopulated swaths of land etc. This is leading to the emergence of industrial-scale production of palm oil, cacao, precious woods, etc. Cattle farming (for meat & dairy production) and pig breeding also occupy an important role in Colombia’s agricultural sector, attracting investors from neighboring countries and further abroad.

  • Coffee

Colombia is the world’s 3rd largest producer of coffee

Colombia is the world’s 3rd largest producer of coffee after Brazil and Vietnam, famous for the high quality of its hand-picked coffee beans. Production is expected to grow to 14.5 million 60kg bags in 2019, with 90% destined for export. Providers of services and technologies that help improve the productivity of this sector will find attractive opportunities in Colombia, as do investors interested in the production o

  • Mining Opportunities in Colombia

Thanks to its geographic location at the tip of the Andean mountain range, Colombia is rich in mineral resources. It possesses the biggest reserves of coal in Latin America, large deposits of gold, and is the world’s biggest producer of emeralds. This attracts a great number of foreign investments in the Colombian mining industry. Colombia actively encourages foreign investment in its mining sector and allows 100% foreign ownership of mining titles and companies. The challenges of the sector is to increase productivity and lower the ecological footprint while not neglecting safety and cost management. Thus, foreign businesses might engage in different mining segments, including the development of infrastructure, sustainable mine system operations, or coal washing, among others.

  • Travel & Tourism Business Opportunities in Colombia

Travel & Tourism Business Opportunities in ColombiaOver the last years – and helped by the peace accord implemented in 2017 – Colombia has become a favorite destination for foreign tourists, from young backpackers looking for a South American adventure to business people attending congresses and fairs in the main cities. Tourism has increased a staggering 300% since 2006, generating revenues of US$5.8bn in 2017 which represents approximately 3% of GDP. The country received more than 6.5 million foreign tourists in 2017, an annual increase of 24% over the five million foreign visitors in 2016. Together with rural development, the Colombian Government is making tourism a high priority to ensure the recently signed peace agreement with the FARC guerrillas is sustainable and to diversify the economy from oil dependence.

Before expanding your business to a new country, you should be aware of its unique local customs and culture. Colombia is no exception. It is a vast country with a lot of cultural diversity where the business etiquette varies as we travel from one part of the country to another. In most of the big cities of Colombia, business is done more formally than in smaller cities or in the coastal regions. However, as in most countries in Latin America, business success relies a lot on personal relationships that build trust and provide a certain compensation for a weak legal system. Using the support of a reliable local partner can help you save time, resources and ensure your compliance.
If you require more information on how to expand your business to Colombia, contact Daniel Breitenmoser at contact@ongresso.com.

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