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Updated: Jan 23, 2023

Colombia is considered a gateway business platform for Latin America due to its strategic location and strong commercial relationships with other countries on the continent.

Colombia's Free Trade Agreements with 65 countries and 1.5 billion buyers, as well as its long coastline with access to the Caribbean Sea and North Pacific Ocean, provides substantial opportunities for international business and investment.

In 2019, Colombia signed the UK-Andean Countries Trade Agreement to preserve the commercial relationship framework. In this new agreement, most of the previous agreements have been maintained, such as rules of origin, exporting and importing tariffs, and intellectual property protection.

According to the Commerce Ministry of Colombia, the United Kingdom imported £347 million from Colombia in 2019, of which 65% were agricultural and agro-industrial products. During that same year, the United Kingdom exported to Colombia £426 million. Most of these exports consisted of 4x4 campers, medicines, agrochemical fertilisers, chemical products, paints and dyes, and medical-surgical devices.

The United Kingdom has the 3rd largest flow of foreign investment in Colombia since 2002 with investments exceeding £16.3 million. In general, investment opportunities range from sectors such as mining, energy, and infrastructure to information and communication technologies (ICT), a sector in which Colombia has had a constant development in recent years. Sectors with the highest potential for investment depend on the region in particular. The following list covers Colombia’s major cities and their biggest opportunities.

  • Bogotá - biggest sectors of the capital are commerce, both wholesale and retail, and services. Other top branches of activity include real estate, financial insurance, and manufacturing, as well as professional, scientific, and technical activities.

  • Medellín - the country’s second most industrialised region and an area that attracts foreign direct investment in its agro-industrial and manufacturing sectors, among others.

  • Cali - famous for its annual Cali Fair; Cali is the centre of one of the world's greatest sugar producing regions, opportunities for foreign direct investment in industries such as agriculture, hotel and tourism, and cosmetics and hygiene.

  • Barranquilla - the principal city in the Atlantic region, offers excellent opportunities in infrastructure and industrials, such as the plastics sector.

  • Cartagena - the country's main port for shipping containers and cruise ships; its main foreign direct investment opportunities are in manufacturing, commerce and tourism.

Need help trading with Colombia?

We work in partnership with an approved supplier who can help companies navigate the complexities of this market. Contact GMCC Trade team at for further support.

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