This information is derived from the State Department's Office of Investment Affairs, Investment Climate Statement. Any questions on the ICS can be directed to EB-ICS-DL@state.gov
Last Published: 7/31/2017
The Colombia government owns 96 companies with a total asset value of USD 80 billion, equivalent to 32 percent of the national GDP.  The largest state-owned companies are: Ecopetrol, which has a net worth of approximately USD 23 billion; Cenit Transportation and Logistics of Hydrocarbons S.A.S., with a net worth of USD 7 billion; Electrical Interconnection S.A. ESP - ISA, with a net worth of USD 2.8 billion; Oleoducto Central S.A., with a net worth of USD 2.6 billion; and the Refinery of Cartagena, with a net worth of USD 1.8 billion.
 

Privatization Program

Colombia has privatized state-owned enterprises under article 60 of the Constitution and Law Number 226 of 1995.  This law stipulates that the sale of government holdings in an enterprise should be offered to two groups:  first to cooperatives and workers’ associations of the enterprise, then to the general public.  During the first phase, special terms and credits have to be granted, and in the second phase, foreign investors may participate along with the general public.  Colombia’s main privatizations have been in the electricity, mining, hydrocarbons, and financial sectors, and in January 2016, the government sold its majority stake in Isagen, the country’s third-largest energy generator, to Canadian firm Brookfield Asset Management for USD 2 billion.  The government views stimulating private sector investment in roads, ports, electricity, and gas infrastructure as a high priority.  The government is increasingly turning to concessions and utilizing public-private partnerships (PPPs) as a means for securing and incentivizing infrastructure development.

The Colombian government prioritized a fourth generation infrastructure program focused on highway construction with PPP opportunities valued at USD 17 billion.  In order to attract investment and promote PPPs, on November 22, 2013, the Colombian government signed a new infrastructure law clarifying provisions for frequently cited obstacles to participate in PPPs including environmental licensing, land acquisition, and the displacement of public utilities.  The law puts in place a civil procedure that facilitates land expropriation during court cases, allows for expedited environmental licensing, and clarifies that the cost to move or replace public utilities affected by infrastructure projects falls to private companies.

Municipal enterprises operate many public utilities and infrastructure services. These municipal enterprises have engaged private sector investment through concessions.  There are several successful concessions involving roads.  These kinds of partnerships have helped promote reforms and create a more attractive environment for private, national, and foreign investment.

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Colombia Economic Development and Investment