Export promotion policy in Colombia

What policies does Colombia use to stimulate exporting activities and how do they fare in terms of design?

Project details

  • Client

    CAF and Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism of Colombia
  • Services

    Inventory and review of policy tools for export promotion in Colombia, and recommendations for policy reform.
  • Team in charge

    Marcela Meléndez

  • Year

  • Categories

Project summary

Governments intervene in exports markets with two purposes: to increase exports flows and to select sectors on which to concentrate policy efforts. The former responds to the idea that exports are a motor for economic growth and that trade openness contributes to a better allocation of economic resources. The latter, to the  idea that what we export matters. Why should governments intervene? The economic literature‘s answer is: to solve market failures impeding that markets on their own produce the optimal outcomes for society.

Colombia performs poorly as an exporter, both in absolute and relative terms. Moreover, most exporting activity is from mining, so the Colombian economy is highly exposed to international markets‘ volatility. This motivated the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism to request a revision of government intervention for export promotion that would identify its weaknesses and recommend adjustments for improvement. This is the origin of this project.


  • Product: Consulting report.
  • Presentations: Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism of Colombia, December 2015; Congress of the Colombian exporters ass