The economy has largely outperformed its neighbours in Latin America in terms of GDP performance in recent years. The global economic slowdown has affected growth, yet Colombia’s economy grew by 4.6% in 2014, compared to an average of 1.4% in the region. A settlement with the country’s largest rebel group is expected to lead to a peace dividend for the country, which could see FDI triple to $36bn in the coming years.
6 11 15 16 17 18 21 27 28 29 31 32 33 Colombia in figures Into a new era: The promise of peace brings both benefits and challenges Interview: President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón Interview: María Ángela Holguín, Minister of Foreign Affairs A regional leader: The nation’s many natural advantages have led to a rapid revival of its fortunes Interview: José Ángel Gurría, Secretary-General, OECD Balancing act: Domestic and regional developments require careful handling Interview: Mauricio Cárdenas, Minister of Finance and Public Credit Interview: Cecilia Álvarez-Correa, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism In a tight spot: Oil prices and economic changes have strained the budget Interview: Ana Maria Carrasquilla Barrera, Chairman of the Board and Executive President, Latin American Reserves Fund Interview: Luis Fernando Castro, President, Bancóldex Growing together: A raft of new programmes are aimed at decreasing inequality Central to economic growth for the past decade, the energy industry and Colombia’s economy have been majorly impacted by the fall in oil prices. While production has plateaued and exploration work has dropped off, promising offshore discoveries, a nascent shale gas segment, and a new, cleaner and more efficient refinery all underpin optimism for the long-term future of the industry.
41 45 47 51 55 56 58 59 60 61 62 64 68 70 77 79 83 Counting on it: As the sector matures it evolves and expands Interview: Luis Carlos Sarmiento Gutiérrez, CEO, Grupo Aval A future generation: New road projects attract attention from investors Making the most of it: Emerging markets are struggling, but Colombia has many bright spots Interview: Juan Pablo Córdoba Garcés, President, Colombian Stock Exchange Getting together: Regional market integration is improving trading conditions Empresa de Energía de Bogotá: Electricity Promigas: Oil and gas Ecopetrol: Oil and gas Grupo Éxito: Retail Grupo Aval: Financial services Working together: Overall economic growth is creating new opportunities Coverage for all: Reaching out to new segments of the population will be central to the industry’s growth Re-aligning: Industry players look to adapt to multifaceted challenges Interview: Francisco José Lloreda, President, Colombian Petroleum Association Promoting exploration: New measures required to reinvigorate exploration and production activity A new start: Recent changes mean more opportunities, despite difficulties The drop in commodity prices, particularly gold, has created real challenges for the government and private players in Colombia’s mining industry. However, the good news is that it could be one of the first countries to benefit from an expected 2016 rebound in the global price for coal. Gold production also rose 7.7% to 519,472 oz in the third quarter of 2015.
87 91 97 99 102 106 107 109 116 122 123 Working together: New strategies may be the key to resolving current issues Sticking to the path: Expansion of transport networks continues despite a more challenging financial context Interview: Alejandro Costa, General Director, Impala Terminals Colombia Moving in the city: The development of more urban transport options are helping to fight congestion Built to last: The sector remains a strategic tool for growth Interview: Carlos Jacks, President, CEMEX Galvanising the economy: A new stimulus package puts construction at the centre stage of economic expansion Building a roof: Real estate development continues to mirror the country’s economic stability Refocused efforts: Increased competition is creating challenges, but a number of segments hold expansion potential Interview: Christian Daes, Chief Operating Officer, Tecnoglass Daily basics: Companies in the fast-moving consumer goods segment focus on building their domestic supply chains 126 130 131 135 140 143 148 149 154 157 162 163 166 169 From the ground up: Social and economic reforms breathe life into the sector Interview: Rafael Mejía López, President, Colombian Agriculture Association Setting the ground: Addressing the concerns of both small and large agrarians Driving inventiveness: Increased institutional support and investment are making innovation an engine of growth Interview: Daniel Quintero Calle, CEO, Innpulsa On a growth path: Regulatory change and strong demand for data characterise the rapidly expanding sector Interview: Seong Hyun Lee, President, Samsung Colombia Net benefits: The sector has seen strong growth, with initiatives now aiming to further improve connectivity and IT access Access for all: The expansion of internet services is helping to strengthen both the sector and the economy Work in progress: The sector is set for growth as the security situation improves and capacity increases Interview: Arturo García Rosa, President and Founder, South American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference Health benefits: The medical tourism industry is well set for continued growth A winning spirit: Sports are on the rise after a series of high-profile showings Interview: Andrés Botero, Director, Administrative Department of Sport, Recreation, Physical Activity and Use of Free Time 170 173 178 184 187 192 194 199 200 202 206 208 Breaking out: Rugby takes centre stage as an alternative in conflict areas Strengthening the system: Better coverage for both secondary and tertiary education has brought improvements In good shape: Ongoing reforms will help the sector overcome challenges Interview: Alejandro Gaviria, Minister of Health and Social Protection Key ingredient: To develop much-needed infrastructure, the government looks to public-private partnerships Interview: Martín Acero, Partner and Co-Chairman, Philippi, Prietocarrizosa & Uría Colombia Levying changes: A look at the Colombian tax legislation and recent adaptations, and what they might mean for investors New standards: Harmonising the tax code in line with international guidelines Viewpoint: Zandra Guerrero, Acting Partner, BDO Rest easy: A rundown of some of the country’s leading business and leisure hotels Listings: Key telephone numbers for car hire, government ministries, foreign missions, consultancy and accountancy services, banks, travel agencies, hospitals and airlines Facts for visitors: Essential tips for travellers to the country, including information on visas, currency and business hours The construction sector is an engine of growth for the country’s economy. In 2014 the sector grew by 9.9% and accounted for 1.4m direct jobs. A government-sponsored housing programme, transport infrastructure improvements and a slate of public-private partnership projects are major factors in the construction industry’s continuing growth. Improving the country’s transport networks remains a priority for the government, in spite of the national challenges presented by falling commodity prices. Stronger transport infrastructure is much needed, however, and will enhance competitiveness and also allow Colombia’s macroeconomic growth to benefit a greater portion of the population.
Following the macroeconomic expansion of the last decade, Colombia’s telecoms sector has experienced growth in the numbers of customers, competitors and services offered. As a result of improved living standards and greater disposable income, the market is increasingly attractive for operators. The tides of Colombia’s agricultural sector have fast been changing. In the first three quarters of 2015 the agricultural sector expanded 3% year-on-year (y-o-y) and accounted for 6% of GDP. Yet droughts caused by El Niño had an impact on total production in 2015. Barley output fell 50% y-o-y while wheat and maize dropped by 44% and 27%, respectively.
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