The eleventh edition of Colombia InsideOut, Colombia’s flagship event to attract foreign direct investment, took place in New York City on May 11. Organized by the Colombian Stock Exchange (bvc), Citi and ProColombia, the Colombian government entity in charge of promoting foreign direct investment, the event was held amidst commemoration of several milestones for the relations between Colombia and the United States. 2022 marks the 200-year anniversary of bilateral relations, the 10th Anniversary of the Trade Promotion Agreement between the two countries, and the 30th anniversary of ProColombia. The objective of the Colombia InsideOut is to promote the internationalization of the Colombian capitals market and attracting foreign direct investment to the country.
A successful round of business meetings held by the Colombian president, Ivan Duque Márquez, and other government authorities, resulted in six megaprojects to be executed in the next three years, amounting to $2.7 billion, which add to the $533 million American investment Colombia has already seen in the first quarter of this year.
Notable potential projects include the construction of a green ammonia plant in the Colombian Caribbean, which would position the country as a global supplier, potential investment in the Dique Canal, which connects the port of Cartagena with the Magdalena River, opportunities for airports development, as well as 4G and 5G projects.
“Colombia is poised to be a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies as we advance in our Path to Zero, our strategy to achieve carbon neutrality,” said President Duque during his keynote speech, as he highlighted Colombia’s value proposition as an investment destination for its combined offering in sustainability and technology.
Colombian minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, María Ximena Lombana, highlighted the interest of American businesses to learn more about investment opportunities in Colombia, while highlighting that the United States is Colombia’s most important trade partner. “Currently, 29% of Colombian non-mining exports and 27% of overall exports are sold to the U.S. as the Trade Promotion Agreement between Colombia and the United States celebrates its 10th anniversary, we encourage the business communities of both countries to take advantage of the benefits provided in the TPA, which guarantee stability in commercial relationships and greater trust in investment”, Lombana said.
ProColombia’s president, Flavia Santoro, highlighted the continued trust of the American business ecosystem in Duque’s administration. “In every meeting, foreign investors expressed their gratitude for the execution capacity of president Iván Duque’s
government in key sectors of the economy and reiterated their interest in continuing to invest in competitive segments such as infrastructure, energy and environment,” Santoro stated.
Juan Pablo Córdoba, president of the Colombian Stock Exchange, underlined the importance of the gradual return of the foreign investment to Colombia. “This year we have seen very positive investment flows of about $1 billion in foreign portfolio investments. The challenge now is to create more investment vehicles so that the public can share the growth and benefit of the mega projects the country must continue to work on.”
“The latest version of InsideOut ratifies that Colombia stands out for its institutional stability and strength, two fundamental aspects that will undoubtedly continue to attract foreign investment,” said Pablo Del Valle, Citi Country Officer for Colombia. “At Citi we are committed to the progress of the country and will keep joining efforts with the public and private sectors to promote initiatives that lead to greater economic growth for the companies, the institutions and Colombians,” he finalized.
In the remainder of 2022, ProColombia expects to finalize the arrival of 30 Foreign Direct Investment projects of U.S. capital amounting to $ 2billion and developed mainly in the sectors of infrastructure, energy, tourism, IT and the pharmaceuticals.
Recent announcements of new businesses include the landing of Apple Leisure Group in Colombia through the transformation of the Karibana hotel under the Dreams Karibana brand in Cartagena; venture capital firm Tiger Global’s $55 million investment in the Colombian company Bold’s round B; U.S. energy giant AES investment in the Chivor hydroelectric plan; I Squared fund’s $220 million investment in the Port of Barranquilla; and Bridgestone Americas, Inc. which, together with its subsidiaries, invested in the expansion in Colombia of its current plant that develops, manufactures and markets tires and rubber products.
According to Banco de la Republica (Colombia’s central bank), the United States is the world's largest investor in Colombia, with more than 500 U.S. companies operating in the country.