Colombia’s economy depends heavily on mining, hydrocarbons, and ranching, producing little employment and benefiting few, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization reportedly said.
Johannes Dobinger, who represents the Andean region for the UN organization, added that these activities also have a large environmental impact and do little to increase the economic productivity of the country.
“The agro-mining model has the the great disadvantage of keeping economic productivity low. What we have to do is seek alternatives that increase these levels and remove the [economic] lag that exists in Colombia,” Dobinger was quoted as saying by Caracol Radio.
The UN representative was speaking at forum held in the central city of Armenia at a forum on micro and small businesses.
He added that these activities decrease the competitiveness of Colombia’s regions, something he said which should be strengthened.
Almost half of Colombia’s working population (49.2%) is informally employed, working off the books and with little to no government or industry oversight. Bringing this huge amount of economic activity under the auspices of formal industry standards and control has been a historical and systemic challenge, both in Colombia and the region.
Colombia has traditionally had higher unemployment rate than its neighbors. Of the 23 million members of the workforce, the government estimated that in 2013 more than 2 million were out of a job.
FACT SHEET: Colombia labor and unemployment statistics
Oil sector proceeds directly put $16 billion into government coffers in 2013, an amount equal to 31% of total government revenue for the coming year.
But as the oil sector boom has faded – there is an estimated six more years worth of reserves and falling prices – the government has looked to the controversial extraction method of fracking to up its energy production.
- El país le apuesta a actividades que no generan empleo: ONU (Caracol Radio)