Skip to main content

Colombia seeing investment growth as safety fears ease

CARTAGENA, Colombia — Investors have been flocking to Colombia, with the country seeing record-breaking investments for three years in a row.

“We have investment grade from major agencies like Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s as being one of the ideal places to invest,” said Miguel Angel Franco Hossain, senior tourism specialist with Proexport Colombia, the government group charged with increasing tourism and exports in the country.

Colombia rated as the fifth country out of 142 for being more friendly for investors to do business, Hossain said. The country is looking to create a Pacific alliance similar to that of the BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India and China — to remove barriers for export.

Colombia is strengthening its Free Trade Agreements in hopes that more boat builders and other industry will do business there.

Colombia is strengthening its free trade agreements in hopes that more boatbuilders and other companies will do business there.

“The conditions, requirements and legal procedures are easier than other countries,” Hossain said.

But one of the major hurdles Colombia faces in trying to increase its boating industry has been the widely held stigma that the country is unsafe.

“Most people in other countries don’t know what’s in Colombia,” Hossain said during a press presentation designed by Proexport to help journalists understand the country better. “There have been negative perceptions of security issues in Colombia, but that has all changed in the last 10 or 15 years.”

Fifteen years ago “it was a different country,” Hossain said. “Cartagena has been a safe city, but if you went to Bogota or other places, it was very sad. There was so much bad news at that time. Now it’s different, and more safe. People are beginning to have more business. People are looking from the outside world and saying it’s good to do business here.”

The change is attributable to a mix of things, Hossain said. “For instance, the security issue was the big thing that has changed. Everybody was kind of scared, but the government began cracking down with results. All the statistics of kidnapping are going down because the government took care of it.”

People began feeling safer in Colombia because of its economic growth, Hossain said.

“So people started — we as Colombians — started believing again in our country, and we're working harder than we used to,” he said. “People started believing in our country, and that changed it a lot, too. It shows in the statistics.”



ASA Announces Inaugural Tournament

The Keep America Fishing Tournament will run Sept. 1 through Sept. 30.


Expanded Norwalk Show Returns

Organizers are providing additional dock space and boater education programs for the Sept. 22-25 show.


Ribcraft Building RIBS for U.S. Navy

The company said the 278-boat contract is likely the largest ever awarded by the Navy.


Yamaha Expands Technical Training

The company signed an agreement with the Alaska Maritime Education Consortium to bolster training in the state’s remote regions.


OneWater to Distribute Forza X1 Boats

The companies said customers may use the website, an app or kiosk at OneWater locations, as well as in-person with a salesperson.


Boat Prices Plateau, and Some Weaken

A quarterly J.D. Power survey found that prices for all segments remain at near historic highs.


The Customer Isn’t Always Right

Keeping customers happy is a necessary part of relationship-building, but there are situations when the prudent business decision is to cut ties and walk away.


Front Runner Boatworks Hires Director

Jimmy Thompson, whose experience includes dealership sales and management, will oversee the center console builder’s national sales efforts.


Glendinning Marks 50th Anniversary

The South Carolina family business started with automatic synchronizers and today offers a variety of automation solutions.