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Bogota Determined To Perfect Its Business Environment

  • The District Department of Economic Development, the Bogota Chamber of Commerce, the National Business Association of Colombia (ANDI), and Invest in Bogota launch the System for Monitoring and Improving the Business Environment of Bogota (SiMo).
  • The initiative seeks to leverage the City’s strengths and overcome its weaknesses, positioning Bogota as one of the most attractive cities to do business in Latin America.                                                                                                                          

Conscious of the importance of a favorable business environment, the District Department of Economic Development, the Bogota Chamber of Commerce, the National Business Association of Colombia (ANDI), and Invest in Bogota have launched the System for Monitoring and Improving the Business Environment of Bogotá (SiMo), the only such initiative in the country.

This system will track opportunities to improve the environment for successful business development in the City and will recommend a mechanism to consolidate the project, have a positive impact upon the City’s business environment, and ensure its long-term success.

SiMo has three components: an information system that will centralize and document the monitoring of the City’s business environment; an operating mechanism that will ensure smooth functioning of the system at the strategic, tactical, and operational levels of the related entities; and a system for tracking progress and commitments.

Business survey

The first activity under SiMo will be a survey of Bogota companies that will constitute the System’s baseline study.  

The Bogota Business and Investment Climate Survey is being conducted by the respected market research firm YANHASS S.A.. It seeks to gather the views of different companies regarding the economic situation and prospects for productive activity as well as their perceptions of the main advantages and obstacles of the business climate. 

The President of the Bogota Chamber of Commerce, Monica de Greiff, has stated that Doing Business ranked Colombia, measured by Bogota, third in Latin America of all the best countries to conduct business, after Chile and Peru.. She, however, emphasized the importance of collaboration between the public and private sectors to identify bottlenecks in the productive sector in order to develop initiatives that will allow us to move forward.  

Carlos Simancas, District Secretary for Economic Development, explains that “the System for Monitoring and Improving the Business Environment of Bogota will identify those obstacles that impact investment decisions and business growth in the City, where the District Administration, in coordination with other private stakeholders, can provide public policy solutions. According to international experience, improving the business climate in the cities has been influential in increasing competitiveness and reducing poverty, both of which are decisive factors in economic development.”

For his part, Juan Gabriel Pérez, CEO of Invest in Bogota, believes that “the results of the survey will provide valuable information about the City’s strengths and areas for improvement, which will in turn facilitate proposing the right solutions to reduce barriers to investment. This is an exercise with a vision to position Bogota as one of Latin America’s most attractive cities in which to conduct business.”

In the words of Jeffrey Fajardo López, Bogota Branch Manager of the National Business Association, “it is vital for ANDI to know the main obstacles affecting the business environment, especially if this identification leads to a public–private agenda that helps to position the City region as one of the best environments to create, develop, and expand business in the Continent.”

The results of the Bogota Business and Investment Climate Survey will be available in the second half of the year. 

Business Climate

Bogota is now the fifth city in Latin America, and one of the most attractive for investment. Its strategic location—three hours from Miami and six from Buenos Aires—together with its market size and the dynamism of its productive activities have turned it into the country’s largest platform for business, with more than 305,000 companies and recipient of over 50% of the foreign investment flows into Colombia. Furthermore, it is the most dynamic city in terms of actually creating business, with an average of 54,000 new businesses born every year. A company located in Bogotá has access to a market of over 1.4 billion consumers thanks to the free trade agreements Colombia has signed with many other countries.

Like all great cities in the world, Bogota knows that it must implement instruments that facilitate solutions for managing the difficulties facing its business environment and provide the best possible facilities for productive investment. This is the purpose of this public–private partnership, as it will allow the authorities, unions, and employers to have access to an instrument for monitoring and following-up on the conditions of Bogota’s business environment together with a mechanism for implementing fruitful joint public–private actions.