Exports to Colombia – challenges, opportunities and entry strategy

After Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, Colombia is the fourth largest economy in Latin America. It is one of the only countries in South America with two coastlines – the Pacific and the Caribbean. This gives global investors a big delivery advantage. In addition, it has stable economic growth and moderate inflation, making it a promising export market for Colombia. There are also five different shopping centers in the country.

With all these positive moments, it stands as the newest and emerging market, providing global business with a great opportunity to enter it. Here, let’s discuss how to export to colombia – challenges, opportunities and strategies:


• The existing government framework requires open bidding and public tenders. There may be a lack of transparency and fairness in bidding.

• Second, only registered companies under Colombian law were even allowed to provide legal services. International law firms had to set up a joint venture with a local law firm.

• For bidding in Colombian government procurement, a commercial presence was a requirement.

• There is a requirement for international banking to maintain a commercial presence in the country. Insurance companies have restrictions on the provision of policies under certain conditions, under which insurance policies are not considered equivalent to bank guarantees.


Despite all the challenges they face, Colombia offers world business many opportunities. Let’s discuss a few here:

• Planned infrastructure projects in Colombia will require most or all of the following services. Financing of projects, subcontracting of public works, logistics, construction equipment for public roads and airports.

Some other areas of interest to international investors could be water treatment, water supply, electricity generation, oil and gas exploration equipment and pollution control. Transport equipment, articles and security and defense services are also in great demand in this place.

• Airport services and upgrading existing infrastructure are seen as a great opportunity for foreign investment here.

• Key sectors that have always attracted attention in Colombia’s trade are: oil and gas, petrochemicals, renewable energy, telecommunications and refineries.

• Other export opportunities include cotton, wheat, corn, soy products, automotive parts, food and beverage processing, and more.

• Packaging equipment and medical equipment are also in high demand here.

Login strategies:

Before going into the details of how to export to Colombia, it is equally important to analyze your market entry strategies. Here are some tips:

• An agent or representative or distributor in Colombia would be your best bet. This requires an appropriate contract that complies with the Colombian Commercial Code.

• Negotiating contacts with trust and professional relations is mandatory.

• You can offer excellent after-sales service as a strategy.

• Affordable funding and competitive prices can be the key to your participation compared to others competing for the same.

• Visiting trade shows and advertising can be the perfect way to present yourself.

• Finally, it is very important to be able to communicate in Spanish.