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Economic Overview

Thanks to its market size, the extent of its natural resources (coffee, emeralds, oil and coal, among others) and a historical reputation as an exemplary debtor, Colombia has experienced a stable and solid growth for most of the past two decades. Although the country was affected by the fall in oil prices due to the pandemic, Colombia was able to recover and, in 2022, the country recorded a GDP growth of an estimated 7.3%. Nevertheless, economic growth slowed substantially since late 2022, and consumer and business confidence remained relatively weak. Moreover, financial conditions tightened amidst a rising cost of credit and more stringent lending criteria. Private consumption, a key driver of the strong recovery from the pandemic, also weakened. Overall, the IMF estimated a GDP growth of only 1.4% in 2023. Driven by a rebound of investment fuelled by the relaxation of financial conditions, GDP growth is expected to accelerate to 2% this year and 2.9% in 2025 (IMF).

Fiscal consolidation has been underway, yet there are concerns regarding adherence to fiscal regulations. The projected budget deficits, comprising 4.3% of GDP in 2023, 4.5% in 2024, and 3.5% in 2025, hover just within the thresholds set by the fiscal rule. Nevertheless, primary expenditures for implementing the reform agenda in 2024 surpass initial estimates. Additionally, oil, customs, and tax revenues in 2023 fell short of projections. Furthermore, fiscal strategies account for cyclical and uncertain revenues, particularly the anticipated collection of tax arrears through litigation, amounting to nearly 1% of GDP in 2024 and 0.6% in 2025, as outlined by the fiscal council. Overall, the IMF estimated the budget deficit at 2.9% of GDP last year, with an expected 2.6% deficit in 2024. In 2023, gross debt decreased to 55% of GDP and, looking ahead, that rate is expected to slightly increase to 55.4% by 2025 (from around 50% before the pandemic). Inflation in Colombia has been high and persistent due to weather-related and supply shocks over the past two years, alongside currency depreciation in 2022-1H23. Additionally, widespread indexation, including utility rates, rents, and education costs, contributes to inflation stickiness. The overall rate was estimated at 11.4% in 2023 by the IMF, with a sharp decline expected this year (5.2%) and in 2025 (3.6%), still above the upper 3+/-1% band of the central bank's target.

One third of the Colombian population lives below the poverty line. Development policies for rural areas are a priority for the Colombian government. Unemployment rates, which increased during the pandemic, declined to 10.8% in 2023, and should continue decreasing in the coming years - reaching 10.4% in 2024 and 10% in 2025. It should be noted, though, that more than half of the Colombian population continues to work in the informal sector. Overall, inequalities are strong throughout the country: Colombia has a Gini coefficient of 51.5, one of the highest in Latin America.

Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 345.33363.62386.08400.48417.86
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)
GDP per Capita (USD) 6,6916,9727,3277,5257,777
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -7.0-3.2-3.0-2.9-2.9
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 60.152.554.455.655.7
Inflation Rate (%)
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labour Force)
Current Account (billions USD) -21.37-9.72-11.70-13.28-14.12
Current Account (in % of GDP) -6.2-2.7-3.0-3.3-3.4

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database , October 2021

Country Risk

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Main Sectors of Industry

Natural resources are abundant in Colombia. The country has largest coal reserves in Latin America, and has the second largest hydroelectric potential in the continent, after Brazil. Colombia also has significant amounts of nickel, gold, silver, platinum, and emeralds, as well as large petroleum and natural gas reserves. Due to the climate and the topography of the country, agriculture is extensive and very diversified. Colombia's main crops are coffee, bananas, cut flowers, sugarcane, livestock, rice and corn. However, the share of agriculture in GDP has been falling consistently for over 50 years, as both industry and services have expanded, and it currently represents 8.3% of the GDP. Still, agriculture remains an important source of employment in the country, as it employs 15.9% of the workforce. As reported by the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), between January and September 2023, notable growth was observed in the value added of fishing and aquaculture, with an increase of 9.9%, and in agricultural crops excluding coffee, which saw a 0.9% rise. Conversely, coffee experienced a decline of -2.6%, and livestock decreased by -0.9%.

Colombia is the most industrially diverse country of the Andean Community, with four major industrial centres: Bogota, Medellin, Cali, and Barranquilla. Most industries in the country are driven by agriculture and commodities, with the main industries being textile, chemical products, metallurgy, cement, cardboard containers, plastic resins and beverages. The sector represents 26.7% of the GDP and employs 20.1% of the workforce.

The services sector’s importance has increased in recent years, becoming the backbone of the Colombian economy as it represents 54.8% of the GDP and employs 63.9% of the workforce. Tourism is one of the most important components of the service sector and has been particularly buoyant over the past few years, especially in Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena, Cali, and Barranquilla. Colombia saw a record number of tourists visiting the country in 2023, with around 5.8 million non-residents reported, 30% than the pre-COVID level (Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism ). The BPO sub-sector is one of the most dynamic with an average annual growth of 19% during the last 7 years.

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 15.9 20.1 63.9
Value Added (in % of GDP) 8.3 26.7 54.8
Value Added (Annual % Change) -1.9 6.8 8.8

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Colombian Peso (COP) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD 3,054.122,951.332,955.703,280.803,694.85

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.



Foreign Trade

Colombia's foreign trade represents around 40.9% of the country’s GDP, according to the World Bank’s latest figures. Colombia mainly exports petroleum oils (32.9%), coal (18.3%), coffee (7.2%), gold (5.2%), and cut flowers (3.6%), whereas the country's main imports include petroleum oils (8.8%), telephone sets (3.9%), motor vehicles (3.5%), aircrafts (3%), maize or corn (2.8%), and medicaments (2.6% - data Comtrade 2022).

According to data from Comtrade, in 2022, the main export partners were the United States (26.9%), Panama (10.2%), Netherlands (4.7%), India (4.3%), and Brazil (4.1%); with imports coming chiefly from the United States (24.5%), China (24.2%), Brazil (7.1%), Mexico (5.4%), and France (3.2%). Colombia has signed trade agreements with the ANC countries (Andean Community of Nations), the MERCOSUR countries, the Central American and Caribbean countries and the European Union. Along with Mexico, Chile and Peru, Colombia founded the Pacific Alliance in 2012, designed to boost trade relations with Asian emerging markets. The country is also part of numerous free trade agreements with Chile, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Canada, Mexico, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and the United States. The free-trade agreement with the United States, which came into force in May 2012, has had a particularly large impact in the Colombian economy, given that the United States is the country's biggest trade partner.

In 2022, the country’s goods exports increased by 41.4% to USD 57 billion, with imports following a slower pace (+26.6% y-o-y) to USD 77.4 billion. As per services, exports stood at USD 12.2 billion against USD 17.5 billion in imports (data WTO). The overall trade deficit was estimated at 7.2% of the country’s GDP, from 7.6% one year earlier (World Bank). According to data from DANA, in 2023, imports in Colombia fell by 18.9% y-o-y, while exports increased by 25.5%. The decrease in Colombian exports has also resulted in only a 3.8% growth in the number of national companies reaching international markets: from 8,890 companies in 2022 to 9,228 in 2023.

Foreign Trade Values 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 52,70343,48961,10177,41362,797
Exports of Goods (million USD) 39,48931,00840,28756,99949,545
Imports of Services (million USD) 14,95210,15014,19018,03516,569
Exports of Services (million USD) 10,6685,9158,17113,62715,242

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 36.537.634.140.248.6
Trade Balance (million USD) -6,394-9,863-8,870-13,984-12,028
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -10,556-14,148-13,105-20,002-16,427
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 5.87.3-19.926.723.9
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 0.63.1-22.715.914.9
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 20.621.720.623.928.1
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 15.915.913.516.320.5

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change)
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) -

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

International Economic Cooperation
Colombia has signed many international trade agreements, including:

- Latin American Association of Integration - ALADI
- Andean Community - CAN -Colombia, Equator, Peru, Bolivia
- CAN - Mercosur
- Central American and the Caribbeans
- FTA - Free Trade Agreement Colombia and Chile
- FTA Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras
- FTA Colombia, Peru and Canada
- FTA G2- Group of Two - Colombia and Mexico
- FTA Colombia and Peru - EFTA
- FTA Colombia and United States
- Trade Union CAN - UE

Colombia is part of the Pacific Alliance.

For more information consult this link.


Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
United States 28.4%
Panama 9.4%
China 5.0%
India 4.8%
Netherlands 4.1%
See More Countries 48.4%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
United States 25.8%
China 21.6%
Brazil 6.4%
Mexico 4.9%
Germany 3.7%
See More Countries 37.5%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data



Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: Gustavo Francisco Petro (since 7 August 2022)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: May 2026
Congress: March 2026
Main Political Parties
About 60 political parties are formally recognised in Colombia, but most are not represented in the Chamber of Deputies. The main political parties in Colombia are:

- Social Party of National Unity (UN): centre-right, social liberalism, third way politics
- Democratic Centre (CD): centre-right, social conservatism, economic liberalism
- Conservative Party (PC): centre-right, social conservatism, economic liberalism, Christian democracy
- Colombian Liberal Party (PLC): centre-left, social liberalism, social democracy
- Radical Change Party (CR): centre-right, conservative liberalism
- Alternative Democratic Pole (PDA): centre-left, protectionism, social democracy, democratic socialism
- Independent Movement of Absolute Renovation (MIRA): centre-right to right, conservative liberalism, social conservatism, Christian democracy
- Green Alliance: centre-left, progressivism, pacifism, green politics, green liberalism
- Independent Movement of Absolute Renovation (MIRA): centre-right, communitarianism, social conservatism, Christian democracy

Executive Power
The President is both the Head of State and the Head of Government. He or she holds executive power. The President and Vice President are both elected by universal suffrage for a single term of four years and cannot be reelected, even for a nonconsecutive term.
Legislative Power
The Colombian legislature is bicameral. The parliament, called 'Congress', consists of the Senate (upper house) and the Chamber of Deputies (lower chamber). The 108 members of the Senate and the 188 members of the Chamber of Deputies are elected for a period of four years.


COVID-19 Country Response

Travel restrictions
Regularly updated travel information for all countries with regards to Covid-19 related entry regulations, flight bans, test and vaccines requirements is available on TravelDoc Infopage.
To find information about the current travel regulations, including health requirements, it is also advised to consult Travel Regulations Map provided and updated on a daily basis by IATA.
Import & export restrictions
A general overview of trade restrictions which were adopted by different countries during the COVID-19 pandemic is available on the International Trade Centre's COVID-19 Temporary Trade Measures webpage.
Economic recovery plan
For the general overview of the key economic policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic (fiscal, monetary and macroeconomic) undertaken by the government of Colombia, please consult the country's dedicated section in the IMF’s Policy Tracker platform.
Support plan for businesses
For an evaluation of impact of the Covid pandemic on SMEs and an inventory of country responses to foster SME resilience, refer to the OECD's SME Covid-19 Policy Responses document.
You can also consult the World Bank's Map of SME-Support Measures in Response to COVID-19.