The most attractive Colombian cities for investors

Cartagena is a leader in strategies to attract foreign direct investment and seven other Colombian cities appear at the top of the rankings

The most attractive Colombian cities for investors

Leer en español: Las ciudades colombianas más atractivas para los inversionistas

The report "American cities of the future 2018/19", prepared by fDi Intelligence, places eight Colombian cities among the best positions in the ranking with respect to foreign direct investment (FDI). Bogota, Barranquilla, Cali, Pereira, Ibague, Neiva, Cartagena and Medellin appear among the first places in different categories that indicate which are the most attractive cities for foreign investors.

fDi Intelligence, a Financial Times service, evaluated 428 cities in the Americas by examining current data on their economic potential, human capital, cost-return ratio of investments, connectivity, and how favorable the environment is for business. These five factors were weighted depending on their importance in decision-making on foreign direct investment, and after assigning a score of 1 to 10 in each of the areas, the cities were classified taking IGNORE INTO account the size of the population.

In the general ranking of 'Latin American cities of the future', Bogotá occupied the fifth position, which places the Colombian capital above cities such as Buenos Aires, San José and Panama City. In Bogota, one of the most important business centers in the region, there are more than 1,550 companies with foreign capital, according to data from the agency Invest in Bogota.

In the group of 'Main Cities' (more than 750,000 inhabitants) classified according to the cost-benefit ratio of foreign investments, two Colombian cities managed to position themselves in the top 10. Barranquilla occupies the seventh position and Cali the tenth.

Barranquilla has been an important destination for foreign investment for years. In the words of Felipe Jaramillo, president of ProColombia, "its privileged geographic location and its qualified workforce give it important competitive advantages that make it an attractive destination to settle, produce and export." In the first edition of the ranking (2011/12), the capital of the Atlantic was the only Colombian city besides Bogota that appeared in the classifications.

Likewise, Cali has a strategic location in a dynamic and diverse region in economic terms. According to data from Invest Pacific, Valle del Cauca contributes 15% of the total national industry and has more than 150 multinationals installed in its territory.

Two other cities that appear in the top of the ranking according to cost-benefit of investments, but in the group of 'intermediate cities', are Pereira and Ibagué, who occupy the ninth and tenth positions respectively. On the other hand, the capital of Huila, Neiva, obtained the sixth place in the same category when compared with the group of 'Small Cities'.

In addition to the five factors weighted for the classification, fDi Intelligence collected information on a qualitative category called FDI Strategy (FDI strategy). Only 74 cities provided information regarding this category, through surveys that explained in detail local strategies to promote foreign direct investment. Bogotá, Cali and Medellín appear in the top 10 of the 'main cities' in relation to this metric.

Within the 'Large Cities' group, Cartagena ranked first in the FDI Strategy category. According to Invest in Cartagena, the agency in charge of promoting investment in the coastal city, its industrial approach and global connection are key aspects of the economic development of Cartagena. The city is a leader in the production and export of petrochemical products in Colombia; Its port sector is connected to more than 596 maritime terminals in 136 countries, and is one of the most important ports in Latin America.

According to data from the Bank of the Republic, Colombia received a flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of US $ 14,518 million in 2017. Investment in the main urban centers of the country will be key to increase production, encourage entrepreneurship and stimulate innovation in the next years.


*** Population sizes ***

Micro cities: less than 100,000 inhabitants

Small cities: between 100,000 and 350,000 inhabitants

Intermediate cities: between 350,000 and 500,000 inhabitants

Large cities: between 500,000 and 750,000 inhabitants

Main cities: more than 750,000 inhabitants


Latin American Post | Paula Bautista
Translated from "Las ciudades colombianas más atractivas para los inversionistas"