Colombia is one of the best emerging economies of Latin America
Nowadays, countries in South America and Africa are sweeping prejudices of the world. These countries for many years were considered less developed and poor compared to North American and European nations. These emerging economies of Africa and Latin America are now becoming “a new Asia” in terms of profitable market opportunities.
In the past, Colombia was often associated with war, death and destruction. However the country is now economically booming. The political situation has stabilized, the areas are urbanizing and a lot of international investors are pouring their money into Colombia and the country’s macroeconomic indicators are quite positive.
The re-elected Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos is focusing his efforts on attracting foreign investors, stabilizing the security situation, and ending 50 years of rebel conflict in the country. The funds which are currently used for defense will be redirected into infrastructure to make up for the loss in revenue from lower oil prices.
Colombia is the 3rd most populated country, and 4th largest economy, in Latin America. The country is considered an emerging market and a new vision for South America. In 2014 the country’s GDP increased by 6.4%. The IMF in its World Economic Outlook report released in 2014 assured the growth of Colombian economy saying that, “In Colombia, growth is expected to remain solid, led by strong construction activity”.
Due to improvements in trade, tax and investment freedom, Colombia now ranks as the 3rd freest economy out of 29 South and Central American economies. Also, Colombia benefits from 10 Free trade Arguments (FTAs) with different countries including Canada, USA, Israel and Mexico among others.
Entrepreneurs can easily access five major commercial hubs including Bogota, Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena and Medellin that offer unique investment opportunities. Equity benchmarks saw jumps of at least 20% in the local currency for the past year.
The emergence of a stronger middle class is almost always an indicator of a booming economy. According to the World Bank, the percentage of the population in Colombia’s middle class has increased from 15% to 28% in the past 10 years. People work their way up, increase disposable income, buy more goods, and get easy access to credit and finance. Consequently, they demand better and more reliable infrastructure from their government, and the government is trying to provide it. Colombia claims that they invested up to US$12 billion in infrastructure projects in 2014, mostly roadwork.
Therefore, international companies such as Uniliver are taking advantage of the growing demand for consumer goods by Colombia’s mushrooming middle class. On the other hand, major domestic companies are mostly private, including Alpina Productos Alimenticios, which provides food and dairy products and HACEB, which provides consumer appliances.
The potential of Colombia today is thriving and the list of evidence is endless. However it is great to see that the culture is preserved.
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