Colombia announces record foreign investment

Colombia’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism announced a record-setting $1.605 billion of foreign investment during the month of January in a press release Monday.

The figure represents a 17.1% increase from January 2011, and follows the recent interest rate increase by Banco de la Republica (Colombia’s central bank), which was expected to attract foreign capital.

Although investment in oil and gas — which has typically attracted the majority of foreign interest in Colombia — decreased by 8.2%, investment in other sectors jumped a massive 339.8%.

This represents exceptional success in diversification, according to the ministry, especially in light of the ongoing turmoil in the world economy. 72.8% of foreign investment is now is oil and gas, and 27.3% in other sectors.

According to the ministry, “this indicates [foreign investment] has diversified into other productive activities,” and “confirms the great performance of the Colombian economy.”

The ministry said national government would spur further economic development by pursuing reforms that make Colombia more business friendly and able to work more closely with the World Bank.

Colombia has numerous international investment agreements and five Free Trade Agreements, despite a long history of labor violence and violation of workers’ rights.

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