Colombia’s industrial production continues to struggle this year, according to a survey issued by the country’s National Association of Business Leaders published on Tuesday.
From the period January to July of this year, the survey found that “production has stayed at negative rates, sales did not grow… and the business climate registered a clear deterioration [of the sector].”
Growth in industrial production has fallen 0.7% this year compared with the same period last year. Out of those surveyed, 34% of manufacturers cited demand as the problem for manufacturers. Automakers, like Bogota-based Chevrolet, have been hit the hardest, according to the survey.
Since 2011, Colombia’s manufacturing sector has suffered falling production figures as costs associated with ailing infrastructure hold back manufacturers’ competitiveness, which has been compounded by a global drought in demand, especially from Europe.
Trade Mission Deputy for the UK, Tony Regan, said that “Colombia is trying to catch up on 50 years of infrastructure.”
Colombia’s government is optimistic that industrial production will pick up by the end of this year. Earlier this month, the Finance Ministry said the sector had ‘bottomed out’ and was due for sustained growth of 2.3-2.5% through the rest of 2013.
Manufacturers want more development in infrastructure to help keep their products competitive on the international market. Most, though, see an unfavorable business climate, according to the survey.
Julian Trujillo, VP of Trade at Saint-Gobain Group, an adhesives manufacturer, has said that previous administrations neglected this side of the country’s development. He believes manufacturing is unlikely to turn around any time soon.