Colombia has a rich biological and cultural diversity. There are 33 Natural Parks, 11 Fauna and Flora Sanctuaries and 2 Natural Reserves in Colombia. Out if these, 24 areas are suitable for tourism.
Colombia produces and exports a wide variety of agricultural products like coffee, flowers, bananas and exotic fruits. The mining sector is also important in the economy. Colombia is the world’s first producer of high quality emeralds. Moreover there are in Colombia exploitation of gold, silver, platinum and coal mines.
Colombian main export markets are the U.S.A, Venezuela and Ecuador. Main exported products are oil, coal and coffee, clothes, flowers, plastic, chemicals and jewelry.
Through the Generalized System of Preferences, Colombian products benefit with preferential access to the European Union market; this means that most exports of industrial and agricultural products from Colombia are exempt or are granted reductions in their customs duties. In 2005 a new GSP entered into force for a period of 10 years. The EU imports from Colombia reached 3 256 millions of Euros in 2005. Under these, the main items were Mineral fuels and Lubricants, Food and Live Animals and Manufacturing Goods.
The figures on foreign investment in Colombia are quite positive. In 2005, foreign investment represented more than 8% of the country’s GDP (more than US $10 million of US). The main economic sectors that received foreign direct investment were: manufacturing (food, beverage and tobacco), mines, oil, transport and communications. The main foreign direct investors in the country are United Kingdom, USA, Mexico, Spain and Netherlands.
During the last years we have seen a stable economic growth of the country, improvement in the security and the development of a highly educated and qualified workforce. This combined with the competitive wages in the industrial and service sectors make Colombia a very attractive country for foreign investment.