Colombia, like much of South America, is fast catching up with the eCommerce revolution, and recent statistics show a notable growth in online trade. Latest statistics show that eCommerce trade increased by 40% in the year 2014, a stunning increase given Colombia had been lagging behind in world terms. Part of the reason for the late start was a slow uptake of internet accessibility, a problem that is now being attended to as coverage is being improved immeasurably.
With further increases expected as internet access becomes available to more areas of the country during 2015, there is little doubt the Colombia is set for a record year in online purchasing.
According to industry research the most popular online shopping covered five areas: airline tickets and hotel reservations; coupons and electronic goods; clothing and footwear. The first two are among the most interesting, given the rise in popularity of online comparison and booking services across the world.
It is calculated that online transactions throughout Colombia in 2014 amounted to total revenue of $3.5 billion, a record so far but one that is sure to be beaten this year. The cities of Bogota, Medellin and Cali recorded the highest levels of internet transactions during the given period.
What Drives The Boom?
The vast rise in online trade in Colombia has been put down to a number of reasons in addition to the already mentioned widening of internet availability and mobile phone connections. Industry experts point to a colossal increase in the number and type of products available online, as well as people becoming more aware of the ability to shop from home or while on the move.
Furthermore, the arrival of proven and secure online payment systems has alleviated a great deal of the concern that had been felt by the Colombian public, and also there has been a drive to educate entrepreneurs and others in the country into the benefits of eCommerce.
With such rapid growth underway there is no doubt that Colombia is finally embracing the world of eCommerce as other countries in the region have done so, and it will be interesting to see how the market develops in 2015.
A fast growing economy such as that which Colombia is currently undergoing is a catalyst for many areas of industry, and one of the most vital is that of moving products around, both within the country itself as well as to and from foreign shores. Import and export is always a busy area of commerce, and Colombia is no exception. There are many shipping solutions in Colombia, and each has its merits. Companies that operate within the country are party to a wide choice of options, and can happily shop around for the best possible solution. If you want to quickly compare courier rates, you can use a comparison service like Loenvío.
Overland shipping is a popular choice in Colombia; while roads in the more remote areas may be difficult for heavy good vehicles to traverse, those between the major cities – and the surrounding countries – are relatively well developed, and there are many haulage operators capitalising on the growth of business and industry in the country. For personal users there are couriers who will deliver parcels, no matter how large or small, to destinations within Colombia and overseas, and there are some very competitive rates to be had thanks to rising competition in the industry.
Colombia is well-served by air freight services from around the world, as well as those operating on domestic routes. The country is home to a number of international airports – in particular that serving the capital, Bogota, and the airport that operates close to Medellin. With flights to and from countries in the Americas, Europe and the East on a regular basis, Colombia presents an interesting hub in terms of shipping larger objects to and from the country by air freight, and competition is rife.
The most popular method of sending and receiving heavy freight in Colombia is by sea. The country is historically a seafaring one and features a variety of busy and thriving ports. The major ports of Barranquilla, Cartagena, and Santa Marta are on the Caribbean coast, with Buenaventura and Tumaco on the Pacific Coast. Most export traffic uses the ports at Cartagena and Santa Maria, while Buenaventura is the major port for import traffic. It is estimated that 80% of international cargo in and out of Colombia is transported by sea.
Business in Colombia can utilise the many freight handlers who have emerged to tackle the need for transporting goods in the country, and the future looks bright for one of the most intriguing and lively economies in South America.
Among the emerging commercial markets in South America is Colombia, a country that is fast catching up with others across the world. A country with almost 50 million inhabitants, Colombia is home to a number of growing businesses and, for foreigners looking for a market to tap into, is an increasingly attractive option. Once a country dominated by agriculture, Colombia has advanced spectacularly in recent years and now has many burgeoning industries and a thriving service sector. Doing business in Colombia can be a lucrative and interesting choice, and one that more investor will be looking at in the near future.
The Main Products
In terms of industry Colombia has a number of traditional exports: cut flowers are a major commodity, and the country is renowned for an abundance of attractive natural resources including oil and other mineral-based fuels, wood, paper and pulp, plus coffee, meat and cereals. There is also a major trade in agricultural products, machinery and automobiles, plus metal products and other such items. The petrochemicals industry is one o the strongest of the region and, perhaps most famously of all, Colombia is regarded as one of the finest providers of emeralds, and other precious stones, in the world.
Doing Business in Colombia
The growth and ongoing diversity of business and commerce in Colombia makes it a very attractive place for those looking to trade and perhaps set up businesses in the country. With a Gross Domestic Product of in excess of $500billion there is clearly plenty of scope, and with such a wide variety of industries to choose from the foreigner looking for business opportunities may be spoilt for choice. The science and technology sector is also fast-growing, with research facilities spread throughout the country, and as much of the land remains relatively unexplored the possibility for further extraction of natural resources is there.
Foreigners looking at the possibility of setting up business in Colombia can find plenty of information here including find advice and help on the numerous procedures and legal obligations that need to be adhered to in order to enter the business world in this wonderful and intriguing country.