Colombia a Leader in Business Reform

Colombia is a leader at making it easier to do business. This year, it sped up trade, enhanced investor protections, and eased tax burdens. IFC and the World Bank find the country to be Latin America’s standout on the ease of doing business. They also rank it sixth worldwide among reformers of laws and regulations affecting the private sector.

President Alvaro Uribe today hosted an event in Bogota to highlight recent successes, which reflect a national policy to enhance Colombia’s competitiveness. Michael Klein, World Bank-IFC Vice President for Financial and Private Sector Development and IFC Chief Economist, presented the findings of
Doing Business 2008. The event also launched the report’s Spanish edition.



Among reforms in 2006-07, Colombia:
  • Passed a decree that strengthened investor protections by expanding disclosure requirements for related-party transactions in listed companies.
  • Reduced the time to export by 10 days and the time to import by 15 days.
  • Extended operating hours at ports, resurfaced roads to them, reduced port congestion, and introduced selective customs inspections of cargo.
  • Instituted electronic tax filing, cutting the time that businesses must spend on tax compliance by 41 percent.

The reform effort includes Colombia’s Private Council for Competitiveness, local chambers of commerce, and the business community. Participating stakeholders include academia, representatives of various regions, and think tanks.

Colombia’s progress comes while the Latin America and Caribbean region, as a whole, is falling behind at regulatory reform. This year it was the world’s slowest-reforming region. And Colombia itself has opportunities for further reform, in areas ranging from the number of steps to start a business to the time and hurdles involved in settling a commercial dispute.

Doing Business 2008 ranks 178 economies on the ease of doing business. Since 2003, the IFC–World Bank initiative has inspired or informed some 113 reforms around the world.

For more information, visit the Doing Business 2008 site at or contact: 

Adriana Gomez
Senior Communications Officer
Phone: +1 (202) 458 5204



Published on November 28, 2007