Foreign investments in Colombian lands should not be prohibited and investors should not be scared off when investing in Colombian land or agriculture, said Agriculture Minister Juan Camilo Restrepo on Tuesday.
The minister described a recent constitutional amendment proposed by Colombia’s Conservative Party to limit land purchases made by foreigners as “inconvenient.”
The legislative act was initiated by Senator Hernan Andrade in August to limit the amount of Colombian private property available for foreign purchase to 15% of the country’s total territory. Andrade said it would serve to preserve the country’s natural resources and keep foreign investors from “grabbing” all of its land.
“This proposed legislative act in short ends foreign investment in agriculture, also indirectly in mines and in the agri-industry,” said Restrepo.
The agriculture minister said that the government felt that this wasn’t an adequate way to control foreign investment, which he said should be controlled, but not prohibited nor chased away.
Foreign Direct Investment has grown more than 500% in Colombia since 2001, a lot of which was caused by the rapidly expanding oil and mining industries in the country.
Restrepo confirmed that of every $100 that arrived in Colombia in foreign investment, $98 goes to hydrocarbons, mining, industries, services, transport, and the financial sectors and just $2 goes to the agriculture industry.
The minister also said that foreign investment should be well-controlled and well-registered and that it created employment, increased technology, and modernized agriculture in Colombia.