Investing in Colombia

In August 2011, Sam Zell, billionaire investor from the US, stated that “Colombia is the next star of Latin America”, and announced plans to invest in real estate in the country. His announcement is indicative of a much wider trend: investing in Colombia is becoming increasingly popular as its economy continues to strengthen in comparison to the US and Europe.

=> In fact, Colombia’s economic and banks' infrastructure has ensured that it is one of the few major economies in the world not to suffer a serious downturn in banking owing to the global crisis.
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Business in Colombia - BogotaAs further evidence of this growing trend, Martin Hutchinson (noted author and long time international merchant banker), suggested that Colombia, along with Chile, is starting a new trend in Latin America: countries that are “truly well run” and worthy of investment. He suggests that, should other countries in Latin America follow their model, foreign investment in the continent would greatly increase and that those interested in investing in the continent should keep a watchful eye on both Chile and Colombia. The potential, it seems, is there, and rapidly getting noticed.
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Indeed, since the security problem in Colombia has improved under the guidance of Uribe and now Santos, investors are falling over themselves to take advantage of the rich natural resources such as coffee, oil and coal; the already established businesses; the skilled workforce; the wealth of potential clients; and the burgeoning trend of expats moving to the country looking for property.

Foreign direct investment in Colombia in 2011 is a massive 59.6% higher than it was in 2010, with projections stating that by the end of 2011 it could reach $9.7 billion. Much of this is thanks to free trade agreements with Peru, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, Chile, Canada, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. There are pending free trade agreements with the UK, India and China. Such moves would greatly help investment in the future.

Business in Colombia - Medellin

If you’re looking to invest in Latin America, there couldn’t be a better time nor place to look than Colombia right now. Property prices remain low compared to Europe, as do those involved in investing in new and even established businesses. Though cities such as Bogotá may require a great deal of paper-work, there are areas that are rapidly up-and-coming wherein investment and opportunities to start businesses are much more encouraged. The Coffee Region and Santander have both seen a recent spike in foreign investment, and this looks set to continue.

Another city that continues to grow in reputation and opportunities is Medellín. Prices are slowly rising above Bogotá as the city makes a name for itself on theworld market, however it still remains great value and considering the business focus of the city itself many investors consider it a worthwhile venture.

Bogotá itself, of course, remains the business capital of the country and is where most investors look to set up. There may be a certain amount of bureaucracy, but Bogotá’s potential, even as it gets talked about, remains largely untapped.

=> The real estate market is booming, a good opportunity to buy properties or country houses "fincas" with acres of land. Rent or buy fincas.
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