31 de January 2020
The Fruits of Creativity
Colombia has made a commitment to creativity, cultural heritage and art. The so-called Orange Economy, which the Colombian government aims to turn into the driving force of the economy and social development, features as one of the sectors earmarked to attract major investments and generate million-dollar exports in the years ahead. In fact, this economic sector already represents 3.2% of Colombia’s GDP.
Companies involved in Orange Economy activities supported by the government are expected to achieve exports of US$1bn up to 2022 through tax incentives and special financing lines, among other benefits. In addition, Colombia’s status as a regional hub for these industries will facilitate the arrival of international companies that require qualified talent, boosting the development of local companies.
Bogota — where activities linked to the Orange Economy make up 5.3% of the city’s GDP — is an example of the positive results that the sector can provide in social and economic terms. DANE figures indicate that close to 190,000 people in the Colombian capital were working in the creative industry at the end of 2018, with a significant proportion involved in the production of audiovisual content, the development of video games and the music industry.
This strong performance is largely due to the fact that Bogota has identified the creative and cultural industries (which form part of the Orange Economy) as one of the five areas with the greatest potential to transform the city. This is set out in the Smart Specialization Strategy for Bogota and Cundinamarca, an agenda for productive development and innovation put together by private companies (via the Bogota Chamber of Commerce), the public sector and academia. Efforts of this nature have led to Bogota positioning itself as a creative city that is seen by some of the industry’s largest companies as one of the leading investment destinations in Latin America.
International companies such as HBO, Grupo Secuoya, Labodigital, A&E Networks, Mediapro, Fox Telecolombia and Massive Software have recently arrived in the city, attracted by the qualified talent on offer and the wide availability of locations for audiovisual productions of all types. The series ‘Jack Ryan’ and ‘Wild District’ and the film ‘Mile 22’ are a few examples of international-calibre productions that have been made in Colombia and its capital in the last few years.
The creative industries brought investment projects totaling over US$581m to the city between 2008 and 2018. This means that the Colombian capital leads the way in Latin America in attracting foreign investment in this sector, ahead of Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Buenos Aires.
In recent days, Bogota took part in Napte Miami 2020, one of the entertainment industry’s main spaces bringing together producers, international creators and media outlets. The event provided the opportunity to promote the capital and seek out new companies interested in contracting services or making productions.
In the medium term, the growth potential for this industry in Colombia is highly encouraging, in particular due to the benefits to companies resulting from the National Development Plan and the Economic Growth Law, which include income tax exemptions and cash rebates for the production of audiovisual content. With this positive outlook, Bogota should take increasing advantage of the benefits provided by ‘squeezing’ the orange of creativity.
By: Juan Gabriel Perez