Coffee is one of Colombia's biggest exports ©Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images
Coffee is one of Colombia's biggest exports ©Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images

In the spotlight: Colombia

Supply Management goes globe trotting to evaluate the procurement potential of countries around the world…

POPULATION 49.04m

AREA 1,141,749 km2

THE HELICOPTER VIEW Colombia’s economy is one of the largest in Latin America. The World Bank estimates GDP will grow 3.3% by 2019, while inflation fell to 3.4% in July.

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK The country is vulnerable to commodity price fluctuations due to its dependency on mining exports, particularly petroleum and precious stones. In March, the IMF cut its 2017 forecast for economic growth to 2.3%.

BIGGEST FOREIGN INVESTORS Principal trading partners are China, Panama and the US. In 2015, foreign investment in the mining industry, principally gold, represented 7% of all FDI in Colombia.

SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES Colombia is a member of the UN, the World Trade Organization and is going through the process of accession to OECD membership. It is a founding member of the Pacific Alliance – alongside Chile, Mexico and Peru.

STRENGTHS The country is rich in natural resources, with a skilled, highly literate workforce. Principal exports include coffee, coal, flowers and oil.

CHALLENGES Around a third of the population lives below the poverty line, organised criminal groups control stages of the supply chain in gold mining, and the blight of drug trafficking persists.

BOTTOM LINE Despite efforts to control coca cultivation, the country remains linked with the illegal narcotics trade. In terms of its perception by potential trading partners, much will depend on how long the recent peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) will hold.

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