• World Biz Magazine

BOGOTA - THE ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE AT THE HEART OF LATIN AMERICA'S GATEWAY



Bogota is the economic, cultural and administrative center of Colombia, which in turn is the ideal gateway for the Latin American market due to its location, political stability, and economic development. A cosmopolitan city of 8 million inhabitants that has positioned itself as one of the main business centers of Latin America, Bogota offers a base that comes fully equipped for the success of your business.


Privileged geographical position

One of the main attractions of Bogota is its privileged geographical position. Located in the center of the Continent, the capital has an area of 1,775.98 km2 and offers a whole range of international connections. Its air terminal boasts the largest cargo transportation capacity in Latin America and ranks third in terms of passengers.


A Large Market with Broad Access to International Markets

Companies located in Bogota have direct access to the US$330 billion Colombian market - one of the largest, most dynamic markets in Latin America. Colombia is the third most populous country in Latin America, home to nearly 50 million potential consumers.


Market

Bogota-Region represents a market of over 11 million people, equivalent to 22% of the nation’s population (which was 49.8 million in 2018). Its strong and diversified economy explains why it makes sense to invest in Bogota.


Business Environment

Colombia's economic situation is reflected in its capital’s positive indicators. Bogota has a favorable climate for business - Fitch Ratings’ stable AAA credit rating and its 30.6% contribution to the country’s industrial GDP support the decision to invest.


In 2018, the metropolitan region's GDP accounted for 30.77% of Colombia’s total, namely USD 101.6 billion. In the same year, Bogota’s per capita GDP rose to USD 9,247, significantly higher than the USD 6,625 per capita GDP figure for the country as a whole.


Bogota-Region represents 32% of the country's corporations, 57% of its financial transactions and is home to a highly qualified talent pool. As proof of this, the number of multinationals that have decided to start operations in Bogota has increased steadily and by 2018 a total of 1,504 of these companies were located in the city.


Economic strength

The strength of Bogota’s economy is evident in its dynamism. During part of the last decade, the city’s economic growth outpaced Latin America’s. In fact, in 2018 the Colombian capital’s economy grew by 3% and the unemployment rate stood at 10.5%.


The city’s solid economic performance is reflected in the outstanding stability of its prices. Bogota has one of the lowest inflation rates among the most important cities in Latin America. In 2018 it was 3.06%, considerably lower than cities such as Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Sao Paulo.


Workforce in Bogota

A young, skilled, 4.6 million strong workforce in Bogota ensures the scalability of any operation. The city’s 128 institutions of higher education enroll over 165 thousand students and graduate over 158 thousand professionals and technicians per year. In addition, Colombia has one of the most flexible labor regimes in Latin America.


Cost structure

Bogota-Region offers a very competitive production cost structure. For example, the city has one of the most favorable salary levels among the major Latin American cities. In 2017 it held a 49% share of all of Colombia’s medium and large businesses and in 2018 it had a 44.46% share of the country’s international trade. In 2018, the metropolitan region exported USD 4.58 billion (FOB) and imported USD 29.33 billion (CIF).


Foreign investment

Bogota is a business-friendly city that offers investors one of the best entrepreneurial environments in Latin America. According to the latest World Bank analysis, Bogota is the easiest city in Latin America to conduct business.


Proof of this is that over the last 8 years Bogota has been the Latin American city that has implemented most reforms aimed at making its business environment more efficient.


Flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) to Colombia have performed remarkably well throughout the last decade. The historical peak in 2013, when FDI broke the barrier of USD 16 billion, is proof of this.


Priority Investment Sectors

Bogotá is the ideal place for the development of all types of businesses. Find detailed information about the most important sectors that are promoted in Bogota, statistical figures, testimonials, success stories and much more.

  • Information Technology

  • Outsourcing industry (BPO)

  • Health Services

  • Pharmaceutical Industry

  • Cosmetics

  • Medical Devices

  • Construction materials

  • Food and beverages industry

  • Infrastructure and City Projects

  • Creative industries in Bogotá

  • Biotechnology

  • Renewable Energy


Attractive Incentives in Bogota

As part of reforms to make business conditions more attractive, Colombia and Bogota offer attractive incentives for investment, including:


Special Regime for companies in the Creative Industries (Orange Economy) sector

  • 100% income tax exemption during the first seven years for new companies in the sector.

  • The investment must amount to USD$50,000 within three years, create at least 3 employees related with R&D and have the approval of the Ministry of Culture.


Large-Scale Investment Regime

  • Special income tax rate of 27% for up to 20 years, with the possibility of entering into a legal stability agreement.

  • The investment must amount to USD$300 million within five years, create more than 250 direct jobs and have the approval of the tax authorities.


Agroindustry

  • 100% income tax exemption during the first seven years for companies that invest at least USD$283,000.


Free Trade Zones (FTZs):

Companies that locate in FTZs have the following benefits:

  • One Income tax rate of 20%.

  • No customs duties (VAT and tariff) are caused or paid on goods that are introduced to the Free Trade Zone.

  • Export from the Free Trade Zone to third countries.

  • Goods of foreign origin introduced into the free trade zone may remain in them indefinitely.

  • VAT exemption for raw materials, parts, inputs and finished goods sold from the national customs territory to industrial users of goods or services in Zona Franca or between these.


​Single Company FTZs

Subject to specific investment and employment targets, investors can set up FTZs on their premises, anywhere in the country.


Income Tax Deductions

The Colombian tax code has several additional deductions from corporate income tax, including:

  • Discount of 25% of the investment in environmental projects (management and improvement) over the income tax.

  • Up to 100% deduction on R&D and innovation projects over the income tax Discount of 25% of the investment on R&D or innovation over the income tax.

  • Up to 100% deduction on value paid for VAT in the acquisition of capital assets with global tariff charge over the income tax.

  • Up to 200% Deduction of disabled employees’ salaries over the income tax.

  • Income tax exemption for companies that carry out construction and financing of social housing (VIS)

  • Special rate of 9% rent Income Tax tariff in construction and repair of hotels in municipalities of less than 200,000 inhabitants for 20 years.

  • Publishing companies exempt from income tax, in addition to sales excluded from the VAT on scientific or cultural material.

  • Exemption of income tax for companies that provide the river transport services until 2032.

  • Additional investments in hydrocarbons and mining will be Revenues Not Deemed Income for Tax Purposes neither occasional gain.

  • Exemption of income in the use of forest plantations until 2036

  • Renewable energy sales may be tax exempt until 2032, or otherwise deduction of 150% of the investment on income tax


Local Tax Exemptions

Goods and services produced in Bogota for export are exempt from the Value Added Tax (19%) and local Industry and Commerce Tax (1.14% of gross revenues). Surrounding municipalities offer this tax exemption solely on the basis of job creation and/or investment.


Quality of life in Bogota

Why are so many companies relocating to Bogota from other cities in Colombia, neighboring countries and Central America? Because it’s a great place to live.

  • Bogota has an ideal climate; average temperature is 19ºC (66 ºF). At night, temperature falls to 10ºC (50 ºF). If it weren’t for the occasional rain, it would be perfect!

  • The city has more than 5,000 public parks, including the Simon Bolivar Park measuring 113 acres.

  • Bogota is home to the world-renowned Gold Museum. But that is just one of some 58 museums on offer, which regularly showcase international exhibits such as Goya, Andy Warhol, and the Xian Terracotta Warriors. The city has 78 theaters and over 130 museums, galleries, unconventional spaces and art institutions; additionally, 23 libraries of the Network of Public Libraries.

  • From the Zona T to the Zona G, and beyond, Bogota is a city of restaurants and, of course, café culture. When the sun sets, the city comes alive with its friendly and diverse nightlife options.

  • Bogota hosts several major cultural events, including the Ibero-American Theater Festival, one of the largest independent theater festivals in the world. In 2017, the festival welcomed more than 40 works from 15 countries, including the 18 national works and the Street Theater.

  • Every Sunday as well as on holidays, over a million cyclists, joggers, skaters, and walkers take over 120 kilometers (74.5 miles) of city streets that are closed to traffic. The beloved Ciclovía has inspired projects in other cities, such as Summer Streets in New York City.

  • Bogota has 478 kilometers (297.01 miles) of bike paths, the most extensive network in Latin America.

  • Bogota is the birthplace of TransMilenio, a mass transit system that uses exclusive bus lanes that has been implemented in 57 cities across the globe, including Mexico City, Johannesburg, Jakarta, and Guangzhou.

  • Bogota is located on a fertile high plateau at 8,000 feet above sea level, known as the Sabana de Bogota. There are numerous tourist destinations nearby, including charming colonial towns, warm weather resorts, and Colombia’s great plains. The city provides ample opportunities to hike, bicycle, and perform other outdoor activities.


​Contact Invest in Bogota to receive all the information and advice you need to invest in Bogota and Colombia.