Opportunities in the Colombian chemical and pharmaceutical sector
Colombia stands out in the region for the conditions it offers as a foreign investment destination. Some of the benefits include political stability, its strategic geographical location, and several government reforms to attract foreign investment.
For example, the health sector offers various business opportunities in vaccine and biotechnological drug production centers, as well as in the medical cannabis market.
In relation to the latter, Colombia has become a benchmark in the region as one of the first countries to structure a regulatory framework for the safe and informed access to the medical and scientific use of the plant and its derivatives. The national figures are also encouraging, as the country received nearly US $440 million in investments in this sector by August 2019, with export projections per year of up to US $109 million.
According to estimates by the Cannabis Prohibition Partners research firm, this market could be worth US $62.7 billion globally by 2024, demonstrating a constant and booming growth.
Furthermore, the chemical sector in Colombia has adopted several international regulations, such as Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) and the Globally Harmonized System (GHS). Also the country has implemented its own control system for substances that could be used for illegal purposes, and it is currently implementing environmental protection systems such as the Pollutant Release and Transfer Registry (PRTR).
As for household cleaning products, Colombia is the absolute leader in private label sales in the Americas, covering 14.4% of total sales. This percentage has been growing significantly in the last 6 years, as the products have gained popularity among consumers by offering a high-quality alternative at lower prices. Moreover, the emergence of discount stores in Colombia has been one of the drivers behind this trend, which is also seen in personal care products.
In line with global trends, e-commerce sales have also experienced annual growth in Colombia, with 21% higher sales in the last 5 years. These positive results are expected to continue, surpassing US $3.375 billion in sales by 2024, and becoming a driver for growth in all industries, as is the case of the containers and packaging sector.
Overall, Colombia offers great investment opportunities in all the aforementioned sectors, accompanied by conditions and incentives that benefit foreign investment. Large Chemicals and Life Sciences companies have already shown their confidence in Colombia, and are now generating high-grade research and development throughout the country, with highly qualified and specialized professionals to meet current market needs.