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Doing Business in Colombia
 

Exporting to Colombia

President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) http://www.export.gov/ two years ago, with the goal of doubling exports by 2014. U.S. embassies are committed to supporting U.S. companies to start exporting or grow their exports to Colombia.

In this section, you’ll find an quick description of Colombia as an export market and some suggestions for getting started.

Getting Started

Visit the export.gov page on Colombia to get an overview of economic conditions and opportunities. Access the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library containing more than 100,000 industry and country-specific market reports, authored by our specialists working in overseas posts. 

The Library Includes:

Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for advice and support on exporting to Colombia. Contact a Trade Specialist Near You (http://export.gov/eac/index.asp).

Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDCs): Starting a business can be a challenge, but there is help for you in your area.

Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are partnerships primarily between the government and colleges/universities administered by the Small Business Administration and aims at giving educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Contact in-country business support organizations such as the Colombian-American Chamber of Commerce or the Council of the American Enterprises in Colombia.

Make use of business matchmaking services.
 
Investing in Colombia

This section provides information for current and potential investors in Colombia.

Potential investors: Getting Started

Current investors: Staying Connected

If you are a current U.S. investor in Colombia, the U.S Embassy wants to stay in touch.  Here are a few steps you can take to keep the channels of communication open:

  • Register with the U.S. Embassy – If you are active in Colombia, let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses on this page.
  • Add us to your mailing lists – we are always happy to stay informed
  • Subscribe to our embassy U.S. Business site
  • Set up a meeting with our economic or commercial teams to discuss any issues that arise.

Working in Colombia

In this section you will find information on travel advisories and anti-corruption tools.

Travel Advisories

Make sure to check the current State Department travel advisory http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1090.html for Colombia.

FCPA

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets. The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business.

These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.

More information on the FCPA can be found herehttp://www.fcpa.us/

A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the statue. Within 30 days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA.

Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but DOJ publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.

More information on the DOJ opinion procedure can be found here.

Resources

  • Direct Line for American Business
    Direct Line for American Business

    The Direct Line for American Business program connects U.S. businesses with American Ambassadors and U.S. mission personnel overseas, making you part of our “country team.”  You will get up-to-the minute information on markets vital to your business, and learn about new sectors and tenders to help you expand your business. 

  • Business Information Database System
    Business Information Database System
    The Business Information Database System (BIDS) gives U.S. businesses up to date information about significant foreign government and multilateral development bank procurements.  Through an interactive map interface, businesses can find new export opportunities, validated by U.S. government economic and commercial experts overseas.  Public and private partners can link to or download BIDS data for matchmaking, analysis, or other purposes.
  • BusinessUSA
    BusinessUSA
    A White House initiative that serves as an electronic clearing house for U.S. Government information and assistance that relates to business.
  • The Overseas Security Advisory Council
    The Overseas Security Advisory Council

    The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) was created in 1985 under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to promote security cooperation between American private-sector interests worldwide and the U.S. Department of State.  OSAC has developed into an enormously successful joint venture, with U.S. companies and organizations receiving the tools they need to cope with security issues in a foreign environment.  OSAC is a free service to U.S.-based or incorporated private sector organizations with overseas operations. 

     

  • SelectUSA
    SelectUSA

    One of President Obama’s signature initiatives to spur economic growth as home is SelectUSA, a program to attract and facilitate job-creating investment in the United States.