Foreign investment

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Colombia has grown to more than $1.7 trillion since 1994.


Total foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Colombia grew like Topsy after 2002 when the administration of former President Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010) actively began promoting foreign investment abroad. Colombian elites also apparently began repatriating capital that had been hidden in foreign tax havens. When Uribe’s successor Juan Manuel Santos began promoting investment in other sectors after taking office in 2010, FDI in Colombia grew even more.

Source: Central Bank


Where the investments are from

Colombia’s primary investors are the United States, Panama and the United Kingdom. The presence of tax havens like Bermuda as investor origin countries raise questions about the nature of some investments. The British Oversees Territory over the years invested almost three times its gross domestic product.

Source: Central Bank

FDI per sector in Colombia

Mainly because of the global commodity boom between 1998 and 2014, the largest recipient of foreign investment has traditionally been the fossil fuel industry. This sector, however, has been overtaken by finance.

Source: Central Bank


US investment in Colombia

United States companies have traditionally been leading the way and have by far invested most money in Colombia’s economy.

Source: Central Bank


European investment in Colombia

Most investment from Europe have come from the United Kingdom and Spain. The two countries have developed the most consistent interest in making money in Colombia.

Source: Central Bank


Canadian investment in Colombia

Canada has been one of the main foreign players in mining and lumbering in Colombia, but the Toronto Stock Exchange investors have not made nearly as many investments as companies from the US, the UK and other regular investors. The only time that annual Canadian investments exceeded $600 million was in 2016 when Santos sold public energy company Isagen to Canadian hedge fund Brookfield Asset Manager.

Source: Central Bank


Chinese investment in Colombia

Chinese state-owned companies have slowly been moving into Colombia’s economy, mainly in the oil and infrastructure industries. The Asian giant has yet to become a significant business partner.

Source: Central Bank


Panamanian investment in Colombia

Friendly ties between Panama and Colombia have increasingly led to an integration of the two neighbors’ private sectors, particularly in the construction sector. However, pressure on Panama City to release bank information to Colombia’s tax office could also have motivated wealthy Colombians to move capital from their Panamanian bank accounts and invest at home to avoid possible tax evasion investigations.

Source: Central Bank

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Gross domestic product