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Importing a standard container of goods into Colombia requires:
Colombia's consistently sound economic policies and aggressive promotion of free trade agreements in recent years has helped GDP grow more than 4% per year for the past three years. Colombia depends heavily on oil exports, making it vulnerable to a drop in oil prices. Principal trading partners are the United States, the European Union, Venezuela and China. Columbia has signed or is negotiating FTAs with a number of other countries, including Canada, Chile, Mexico, Switzerland, the EU, Venezuela, South Korea, Turkey, Japan, and Israel. Although Colombia still faces challenges, including infrastructure deficiencies and income inequality, the country of 46 million boasts a growing economy with investment grade status and a rising middle class.
|Export of goods and services||12.9||5.3||3.1|
|Import of goods and services||21.2||8.0||4.3|
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|Source: Oxford Economics||-|
Colombia’s economy picked up speed from Q1; with the central bank recently estimating growth was around 3.4% in Q2, based on rising output of oil, minerals and coffee. Consumer confidence and retail sales also improved in the period. The economy was affected by falling oil prices in the first half of the year, but will be supported by an increase in government spending. Steady progress is expected for the rest of the year with growth of 3.2% forecasted for this year and 4% in 2014.
Colombian exports have grown rapidly in recent years, boosted by a combination of more external markets and significant increases in the sales of raw materials such as oil and coal. Furthermore, measures taken by Colombia in foreign trade, through free-trade agreements concluded in the past and being negotiated now, are steps in the right direction. Latin America and the Caribbean are prominent trade partners, with the US, Spain and Portugal also featuring highly.
Sound financial policies
Vulnerability to international commodity prices
Free trade agreements
Given Colombia’s expanding energy sector and a number of major infrastructure projects coming on line, many opportunities exist for UK businesses. Colombia has more than doubled its spending on transportation infrastructure from $1.6 billion in 2010 to $3.3 billion in 2012, and aims to reach three percent of GDP, or approximately $10 billion, by 2014. A broader infrastructure development program over the next several years will create enormous opportunities for companies involved in the construction highways, ports, and airports.
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