Photo: César Carrión - Presidencia de la República
On the occasion of President Iván Duque’s visit to the United States for the United Nations General Assembly, ProColombia and the Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA) held a gathering in New York with more than 50 representatives of companies from the agri-food and manufacturing sector, technology, private capital funds, tour operators, and finance sectors interested in, and with the potential of, investing in Colombia. Founded in 1965, AS/COA is an organization that brings together more than 200 regional and global companies with operations and stakes in Latin America.
President Duque opened the meeting with remarks about the investment climate and business opportunities offered in Colombia. He also presented his outlook for the country with the intention of promoting confidence among American entrepreneurs in the Latin American country.
After the speech by the President of Colombia, in a discussion moderated by Susan Segal, President and CEO of AS/COA, several attendees shared their views on the potential, improvement opportunities, and projection for Colombia in the region.
“There is great deal of optimism with regard to President Iván Duque and the vision that he and his administration have for Colombia,” said Susan Segal. “This positive expectation, together with Colombia’s accession to the OECD, its relevance in the Pacific Alliance, and the numerous agreements signed with nations around the world make the country an enormous center of attraction for the investment community.”
“Colombia is going through times of change. We are committed to our future and we now showcase to the world more opportunities for investment, generating productive projects, growth, and exports to third markets. The United States is a strategic partner in this purpose, and its support and trust have been very important for our country,” said José Manuel Restrepo, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism.
The United States is the primary and leading commercial partner for Colombia; it is the main destination for Colombian exports, concentrating 30% of international sales; the prevalent origin of inbound tourism, with more than 530,000 travellers per year; and the largest investor, amassing US $35,269 million in capital since 2000 to the first semester of 2018. One of the goals behind ProColombia’s active work is to strengthen these indicators with the United States and the world.
“We have been channeling our efforts in Colombia for more American companies to leverage the advantages that Colombia offers as an investment destination, given the potential of the domestic market with a population of nearly 50 million, tax incentives that boost investment, and its strategic geographic location for exports to third markets,” affirmed Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Colombia will be one of the countries with highest growth in Latin America in 2018, with a GDP 2.7% above Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil, and GDP per capita forecasts of US $18,227 by 2022.
The World Bank ranks Colombia as the third most business-friendly country in the region, and second in the ranking of the IMD with the most skilled workforce in South America.