Bogota: A competitive city with unique investment opportunities

By: Juan Gabriel Pérez, Executive Director of Invest in Bogota.

Published in Amcham Colombia Business Express, available here

2_2Bogota is ranked as one of Latin America’s leading business centers with great investment potential, along with Miami, Santiago, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo. According to the latest annual America Economia ranking in 2016, Colombia’s capital is the fifth best city to do business in Latin America.

In the past 10 years the city has received US$18.369 billion in foreign direct investment, mainly in Financial Services (14%) and Communications sectors (14%), being the United States the principal source market of the foreign direct investment followed by Spain, France, Chile and Portugal.

Several FDI projects in sectors of high added value have set their sights on Bogota. Today, there are more than 1,500 foreign capital companies in the city that have chosen it because of its main advantages:

Economic strength

The Colombian capital is a dynamic market and the backbone of the national economy. With a population of 8 million people (and 10 million Bogota-Region) and a GDP of US$73 billion, larger than that of many countries in Latin America. In the past decade, Bogota’s GDP growth has outpaced Colombia and Latin America most of the time.

Companies located in Bogota have direct access to the US$282 billion Colombian market – one of the largest, most dynamic markets in Latin America. Thanks to the different Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in operation, these companies have access to an extended market of more than US$43 trillion and 1,570 million inhabitants.

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Strategic location

Thanks to its privileged location in the center of the Americas – approximately five hours by plane from New York, Mexico City and Sao Paulo and excellent air connectivity, with several daily nonstop flights to all major cities in the Americas, many companies have chosen Bogota for their regional headquarters, shared service centers and logistical hubs to serve Latin America.

El Dorado, Bogota´s International Airport, is the first Latin American airport in terms of air freight volume and one of the largest passengers hubs in Latin America, handling over 30 million travelers per year.

Work Force

A young, skilled, 4.6 million strong work force in Bogota ensures the scalability of any operation. The city’s 120 institutions of higher education enroll over 736,000 students and graduate over 126 thousand professionals and technicians per year.

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Business environment

Bogota is positioned as one of the main region’s business centers. 1st City with best FDI strategy in Latin America (fDi Magazine American Cities of the Future 2017-2018). 5th Global City in Latin America (AT Kearney 2016). 5th Best city to do business in Latin America (América Economía 2016). 5th City of the future in Latin America (fDi Magazine 2017-2018). 6th City in Latin America for corporate tourism (ICCA 2015). 7th Smart city in Latin America (Cities in Motion 2016). Bogota offers significant incentives for investment in the following areas: Free Trade Zones, job creation, exports of goods and services from Bogota, research and innovation projects, environmental projects, newly established businesses.

Quality of life

Many companies are relocating to Bogota from other cities in Colombia, neighboring countries and Central America because it’s a great place to live. Its almost ideal climate, green spaces with more than 5,000 public parks, including the Simon Bolivar Park measuring 113 acres. A rich cultural scene with over 70 theaters and 120 museums, galleries and art institutions; additionally, 80 libraries of the Network of Public Libraries. Bogota boasts several major cultural events, including the Iberoamerican Theater Festival, one of the largest independent theater festivals in the world and its proud to have the Ciclovia, a local initiative that has inspired projects in other cities such as Summer Streets in New York.

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