StatisticsCapital: Bogotá Population: 48,227,000 GDP (USD): 378.4 billion
Currency: Colombian peso (COP) Language: Spanish
ContactPaola Lugari Commercial Specialist
SummaryIt is safe to do business in Colombia. Moreover, Colombians appreciate U.S. goods and frequently visit the United States as tourists and shoppers. Many Colombians have post office boxes in the United States that receive goods purchased from online vendors in the United States who refuse to ship outside the country. Colombians then organize their own shipments to their businesses or homes.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in the Colombian economy. It is easier than ever to reach those companies via the Internet and for them to reach suppliers in the United States. The number of SMEs (MiPymes) in Colombia is an estimated 90,000 companies, which generate 40 percent of the country’s GDP and 80 percent of all jobs. They are focused in the industrial, retail, and service industries. The percentage of MiPymes connected to the Internet rose to 60 percent at the close of 2013, compared with 7 percent in 2010.
Popular Payment Options• Credit card: 55 percent
• Cash in authorized selling points: 34 percent
• Debit (to checking or savings): 11 percent
Popular E-Commerce SitesAlthough there is no openly available data about online commerce platforms, portions of studies carried out by companies such as FedEx, PayU Latam, and comScore indicate that the most prominent online commerce platforms include
Current Market TrendsAccording to a recent FedEx study, both business to business and business to consumer SME e-commerce is estimated to have reached a combined USD 3.5 billion in Colombia, an increase of 41.3 percent compared with the previous year (above the world average of 29 percent). A separate report by PricewaterhouseCoopers quoted within the FedEx Study estimates total online commerce in Colombia at USD 8.3 billion, or 2.2 percent of 2013’s GDP (the data was gathered from the payment-processing companies).
Current DemandSeveral categories of items are commonly purchased online:
• Airline tickets
• Hotel reservations
The cities of Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali were the sources of the largest share of transactions.
ChallengesColombia’s tax and customs agency, DIAN, does not specifically impose additional taxes for online sales, but the associated goods in the transactions are subject to the respective value-added tax (VAT) and tariffs and have added costs associated with the taxes levied on the payment-processing companies (withholding tax of 1.5 percent, VAT withholding of 2.4 percent, and 0.414 percent industry and trade withholding tax, for a total of 4.3 percent). For more information, please visit bit.ly/1O6ktxL.
Prepared by the International Trade Administration. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.
Colombia eCommerce Industry eCommerce