Doing business

Current business situation

Colombia is a member of the pre-trade Pacific Alliance and was ranked by the World Bank as one of the region’s leading nations in terms of ease of doing business.

Business culture

Colombia is already a well-developed market for products and services and a high number of international companies service different sectors. It is important to take a long-term approach to engaging in business, with a high degree of flexibility. Involving local consultancy and market research services can be advantageous to develop an appropriate strategy for your company.

Take the time to meet and speak with locals since Colombians prefer to do business with people they know. Colombia offers foreign investors various cities outside of the capital, Bogota, that have established themselves as commercial hubs, including Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla and Bucaramanga. These regional centres can provide unique market opportunities and are easily accessible.

To put a bid on government contracts, a commercial presence is required, therefore it is important to appoint a local representative who can also provide guidance on the ground and reduce set-up costs and market entry time.

Setting up in market

Educating private and public potential clients about your company's offerings can take longer than expected. Organising frequent visits demonstrates interest and commitment to the market and provides an opportunity to learn about burocratic and cultural issues.

Banking and finance

International transactions are subject to the Colombian exchange regime. Opening a bank account is required when establishing a company in the country.

Links and resources

Government, business and trade

ACM (National Mining Association)
ANDI (National Industries Association)
ANH (National Hydrocarbons Agency)
ANLA (national Agency of Environmental Licenses)
Banco de la Republica (Central Bank)
Bogotá Chamber of Commerce
Cerrejon Mining
DIAN (Colombian Customs and Income Tax Offices)
Ministry of Mines and Energy
Ministry of Commerce
Ministry of ICT
National Planning Department
Presidency of the Republic
PROCOLOMBIA (Foreign Investment Promoter)
UPME (Mining and Energy Planning Unit)

News and media

Dinero magazine
El Espectador newspaper
El Tiempo newspaper
Focus economics
Portafolio magazine
Trading economics
World Bank

Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.