Industry and Commerce
Apart from having a privileged territory in terms of climate and resources, a country aiming to be a leader and a world referent must learn to utilize those advantages to translate them into strengths. That is precisely what Colombia has accomplished, making the most of its thermal floors diversity and being able to develop its industrial production in order to gain sustainability and to guarantee both internal and external commercial demand for a great variety of products. Colombia achieved not only to become the third most important economy of Latin America, but also to be consolidated as the second economy in the world, after China, with the highest growth increase in the first trimester of 2014. And this attained to enhance investors’ confidence in the country.
This confidence and trust has been represented by more than 45 trade agreements. With 13 current trade agreements and 5 more signed, Colombia has reached to take its products to more than 1.400 million consumers around the world. The Pacific Alliance stands out among those agreements. It was signed together with Mexico, Peru and Chile in 2012 and it represents more than 30% of the total commerce made in Latin America and the Caribbean Region.
Thanks to this consumers’ volume, the country exported in 2014 more than 132 million tons of products from Colombian ports and another 800.000 by air. Colombian ports have maintained its key role for commercial activities. Nowadays, 28 shipping companies make use of the 3.000 export sea routes to reach more than 500 ports worldwide.
Financial strength and social improvements as the results of the pursuit of peace have also improved the investors’ confidence in the country. The three main credit rating agencies, S&P, Fitch and Moody’s, they all give a high investment standard to Colombia and, according the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, Colombia is the Latin American country which protects investors the most. This fact has a consequence of close to $12 million in direct foreign investments.
Colombian industry has also acquired great solidness in a wide range of fields. The textile industry, one of the most important industries of the country with more than 100 years, is consolidated at the international level thanks to its high quality products. Thanks to its smart fabrics and its UV light protection filters, among other innovations, the apparels of more than 10.000 companies are currently being used and loved in more than 100 countries, and Colombian textile industry supplies to some of the most recognized brands in the world, such as Victoria’s Secret, Levi & Strauss Co., Náutica and OshKosh, among others.
Colombia’s biodiversity has also opened several fields for the national industry. Regarding the cosmetic sector, Colombia has boosted its I+D, supported by government’s policies. Researches on biotechnology, along with Colombian skilled labor force, and the effective export platforms of the country, this all have allowed that the Cosmetic Industry increased more than 20% since 2012.
Footwear industry is a similar case, where more than 28.000 companies enable the Colombian leather production chain. Footwear exports and related manufacturing products exceeded $100 million in 2014, and they reached more than 50 countries in all latitudes.