Industry & Retail

Colombia Industry and Retail

As the significantly divergent performances of its various sub-sectors suggest, Colombian industry is at a crossroads. Some sub-sectors have sustained robust growth during the past decade and have developed export channels targeting regional markets. However, other industries have not been able to overcome the number of challenges that nearly all Colombian manufacturers must contend with, in particular high transportation costs and increased international trade which has brought low cost goods to the domestic market. The sector’s contribution to GDP fell from 14% in 2011 to 12% by 2013, prompting the government to implement several programmes to buoy domestic manufacturing. As the cosmetics industry demonstrates, however, opportunities still abound, and there is a place in the regional market for Colombia, a mid-sized exporter, to meet its neighbours’ growing levels of consumer demand. This chapter contains an interview with José Alberto Vélez Cadavid, President, Grupo Argos.