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Colombia was one of the three countries that emerged after the dissolution of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others are Ecuador and Venezuela). A decades-long conflict between government forces and antigovernment insurgent groups, principally the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) heavily funded by the drug trade, escalated during the 1990s. More than 31,000 former paramilitaries demobilized by the end of 2006 and the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia as a formal organization ceased to operate. In the wake of the paramilitary demobilization, organized criminal groups arose, whose members include some former paramilitaries. After four years of formal peace negotiations, the Colombian Government signed a revised final peace accord with the FARC in November 2016, which was subsequently ratified by the Colombian Congress. The accord calls for members of the FARC to demobilize, disarm, and reincorporate into society and politics, and it creates an alternative system for transitional justice that includes a “Special Jurisdiction for Peace” to address accountability for conflict-related crimes and established truth-telling mechanisms. The Colombian Government has stepped up efforts to reassert government control throughout the country, and now has a presence in every one of its administrative departments. Despite decades of internal conflict and drug related security challenges, Colombia maintains relatively strong democratic institutions characterized by peaceful, transparent elections and the protection of civil liberties.


Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama

Natural Resources

petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, copper, emeralds, hydropower

Population - distribution

the majority of people live in the north and west where agricultural opportunities and natural resources are found; the vast grasslands of the llanos to the south and east, which make up approximately 60% of the country, are sparsely populated

Spanish (official)
BOGOTA (capital) 9.765 million; Medellin 3.911 million; Cali 2.646 million; Barranquilla 1.991 million; Bucaramanga 1.215 million; Cartagena 1.092 million (2015)
Conventional long form
Republic of Colombia
Conventional short form
Local long form
Republica de Colombia
Local short form
presidential republic
Geographic coordinates
4 36 N, 74 05 W
Time difference
UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Colombia’s economy benefits from free trade and sound fiscal policies but it has slowed in 2016 because of falling global oil prices, a strong dollar, and moderate inflation. Colombia heavily depends on energy and mining exports, making it vulnerable to a drop in commodity prices. Colombia is the world's fourth largest coal exporter, the world’s second largest coffee and cut flowers exporter, and Latin America’s fourth largest oil producer. Economic development is hampered by inadequate infrastructure, poverty, narcotrafficking, and an uncertain security situation.
External debt stocks
US$ 111,049,740,000
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ -12,541,083,843
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 58,310,708,444
Exports of goods and services
US$ 39,657,882,657
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 13,592,646,939
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 7,700,532,291
coffee, cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, cocoa beans, oilseed, vegetables; shrimp; forest products
textiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear, beverages, chemicals, cement; gold, coal, emeralds
petroleum, coal, emeralds, coffee, nickel, cut flowers, bananas, apparel
US 27.5%, Panama 7.2%, China 5.2%, Spain 4.4%, Ecuador 4% (2015)
industrial equipment, transportation equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, paper products, fuels, electricity
US 28.8%, China 18.6%, Mexico 7.1%, Germany 4.2% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
A somewhat shaky political and economic outlook and a relatively volatile business environment can affect corporate payment behavior. Corporate default probability is still acceptable on average.
Business Climate Rating
The business environment is acceptable. Corporate financial information is sometimes neither readily available nor sufficiently reliable. Debt collection is not always efficient and the institutional framework has shortcomings. Intercompany transactions may thus run into appreciable difficulties in the acceptable but occasionally unstable environments rated A4.
  • Two coastlines
  • Large population (almost 50 million)
  • Abundant natural resources (agriculture, minerals)
  • Considerable tourism potential
  • Cautious economic policy
  • Institutional stability
  • Sound banking system
  • Sensitivity to commodity prices and U.S. economic cycle
  • Road and port infrastructure shortcomings
  • Problematic security situation linked to drug trafficking
  • Educational and healthcare shortcomings
  • Large informal sector (60% of jobs)
  • Lack of skilled labor and low productivity
  • Legislative, judicial, and administrative delays
  • Structural unemployment, poverty, and inequalities

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