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Doing business in Colombia is easy, and many of them go through Bogota

October 12, 2017

Since 2009 Bogota has increased the facilities to do business in the city and has become the epicenter of installation for new companies.

According to the World Bank's Doing Business sub-national study of 2017 to establish the ease of doing business in the cities of the country, the balance was positive. For the first time in the 4 reports that the World Bank has done on the country, 32 state capitals were taken into account, 30 of which were above the Latin American average with a score of 64.5 in terms of the willingness of their business environment. The exceptions were the cities of Ibague and Santa Marta. For its part, Bogota was ranked as one of the 3 cities with best business environment along with the cities of Manizales and Pereira.

"Bogota is constantly working to foster a diverse and stable business ecosystem with abundant opportunities to promote the city's development. This has made Bogota a very attractive destination for the emergence of startups, since Bogota is the hub of the sector in the country, as well as for the arrival of foreign companies for the quality of their human talent, to concentrate the financial movement of the country, for its excellent location and for offering a wide variety of outsourcing providers in accounting, real estate and human resources services", said Juan Gabriel Pérez, executive director of Invest in Bogota.

For this study, four fundamental variables were considered: evaluating the ease of opening a business, obtaining construction permits, registering property and paying taxes, where Colombian cities improved in at least one of these aspects. Bogota stood out in the improvement of the payment of taxes and property registration, thanks to the positive reforms that were made in the regulation of these two fields between 2013 and 2016.

Since 2009, Bogota has been rising in this ranking despite facing the challenges of being a city that concentrates nearly half of the country's financial transactions, 16% of the population with 8 million people and 26% of GDP. Although the size, quantity, and diversity of economic operations may have a negative impact on the ease of doing business, which is not the case of a city with a smaller economy, Bogota has been consolidated as the country's main investment benchmark and an increasingly attractive destination in the region for attracting foreign investment.

In Bogota there are 379,705 registered companies, 26% of the companies registered in the country, a number similar to the sum of all the companies registered in the states of Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, Caldas and Risaralda (372,032), making it a great challenge to maintain the facilities to do business by the volume of its economy. That is why it is underlined the importance of Bogota being one of the cities with greater facility to do business in spite of its size.

The main suggestion that the World Bank made to Bogota to improve the facilities for doing business was to reduce and simplify the necessary procedures. A simpler and more flexible regulatory environment would positively impact the attraction of foreign investment and the level of labor productivity.

Globally, Bogota has been positioning itself as a key actor and in several fields it is in keeping with the main cities of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). With regard to obtaining construction permits, the time required in Bogota is lower than the average in Latin America and the most important cities in OECD countries, and the number of procedures required is also below average. If we talk about the facility to register properties, the city had important advances and reached the second place at national level after Manizales. In this field it is more efficient than the average of Latin America and the OECD countries in terms of time and costs associated with the procedure.

One of the main attractions that companies find in Bogota is its status as a port of expansion to other markets at the national level and towards a Colombian expanded market of 43 trillion dollars and more than 1,570 million people through its treaties of free trade, mainly in America and Europe.

Since last year, Bogota has been implementing a positioning strategy based on intelligent specialization, an initiative led by the Chamber of Commerce of Bogota in which more than 140 companies participate. This plan is to promote development in 5 flanks: Biopolo, creative region, advanced knowledge hub, specialization in business services and sustainable city.

 

About Invest in Bogota: Invest in Bogota is the private public agency that, based on an international positioning strategy, actively promotes foreign investment in the city to generate business opportunities, progress, social and economic development for Bogota and Colombian people. Throughout 11 years of management, it has been cataloged by different institutions such as the World Bank (2009) and Site Selection Magazine (2015, 2016, 2017) as the best investment promotion agency in Latin America and the Caribbean. Invest in Bogota is the result of an initiative between the Bogota Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor's Office.