Colombia has been experiencing an annual economic growth of 4 percent since 2009, a figure double the one of neighbouring countries Peru, Mexico and Brazil. Because of political stability in the region, a large internal market, low costs and a peace process that is making progress, Colombia is becoming interesting for foreign investors. A free trade agreement between Colombia and the EU was signed in 2013 and already the year after European exports to Colombia increased by 10 percent, making the EU the second most important trading partner for Colombia.
With a population five times as large as Sweden and an ambitious national development plan, Colombia offers significant opportunities for Swedish industry. In a broad process the Colombian government identified infrastructure and transportation as ‘bottle necks’ for future development. There for, by 2020, there are planned investments in transportation (USD 31,8 million), living (USD 8,3 billion), mining and energy (USD 6,8 billion), ICT (USD 4,9 billion) and local transportation (USD 4,2 billion). Besides the government also initiated a comprehensive health care reform to increase the level of quality for the entire population. Based on above focus areas, Business Sweden identified transportation, infrastructure and health care as areas of strategic interest in 2015.
Colombian culture is a relationship oriented and the contact network is crucial to build trust and do business locally. Business Sweden staff has far-reaching connections both within the public and private sector. In parallel, the Sweden brand and Swedish Embassy connection play an important role and open many doors in our daily work. The bureaucracy is one of the main challenges that Swedish companies face in Colombia and many of the administrative processes are more time consuming than in other countries. With our experience on the market, we’re able to facilitate many of these thresholds.
Business Sweden started its operations in Colombia in 2010. The office is located in Bogotá and our three co-workers are also covering Ecuador and Venezuela. Together we have over the years built a strong and lasting network of contacts consisting of local business leaders and political decision-makers with the purpose of encouraging Swedish business in the region. We are monitoring the full-range of market segments and work closely with individual business projects in order to harness the opportunities.
Contact us and we can tell you more about Colombia as an export market, our services and planned activities that can support you in the process of establishing and developing your business.