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Cartagena was chosen from a list of 481 cities around the continent as the city with the best strategy to attract investment in America in the Top Large American Cities of the Future 2017-2018 ranking, published by the Financial Times’ FDi Magazine. The city was part of this version ranking, under the “Large City” nomination, surpassing North American cities such as Ottawa, Orlando, Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Nashville, and La Paz in South America.
Cartagena and Bolívar share a privileged geographical location which makes them a strategic intercontinental connection hub.
Cartagena and Bolívar are home to one of the country’s most powerful and important industrial sectors, which include first-level clusters such as the petrochemical-plastic, metal mechanic, and logistics-port sectors.
First industrial city in the Colombian Caribbean region
Headquarters of Latin America?s most modern refinery
Colombia?s first producer and exporter of petrochemical products
Headquarters of Colombia’s main shipyard
Colombia’s main port zone is located in Cartagena and Bolívar, which is also Latin America’s fifth most important in terms of cargo movement.
26 public and private port concessions.
Colombia’s most efficient, safest, and modern port infrastructure.
Local ports move over 60% of the country’s cargo and over 50% of customs operations.
Bahía profunda y segura, con capacidad de recibir barcos tipo New Panamax.
Cartagena and Bolívar have the country’s highest number of free trade zones, in addition to accessible lands perfectly located for any type of investment.
16 free trade zones (6 multiuse + 10 single-company areas).
Large infrastructure storage sites
Wide range of industrial and logistics complexes
We have a highly qualified and bilingual workforce, and professional, technical and technology training centers driven to harness the region’s productive projects.
+85 thousand graduates in different training levels to satisfy the needs of the productive sector.
+500 higher education programs in several training areas. Wide range of higher education institutions.
Cartagena and Bolívar are the key destination for modern investors who are not only seeking for specific competitive advantages for their businesses, but who also demand quality of life for them and their people.
Varied gastronomic offer; rich and permanent cultural and entertainment agenda.
Latin America’s most traditional film festival venue and one of the continent’s most important.
One of Latin America’s most important music festivals venue.
Wide Real Estate offer, suitable to all budgets
52 hospitals offering different service and specialty levels
Señor inversionista, a continuación encontrará un resumen práctico y metódico de los aspectos principales a tener en cuenta para invertir en Cartagena y Bolívar. Para obtener más detalles sobre cada trámite, lo invitamos a que consulte la Guía del inversionista.
New companies must have a bank account; however, requirements to open a bank account in Colombia vary depending on the bank you choose.
The following are the documents most commonly required by banks:
This tax is supported by Law 97 of 1913, Law 14 of 1983 and Decree 1333 of 1986. For Cartagena, the Industry and Commerce tax is regulated under Agreement 041 of 2006, or District Tax Statute, Chapter II. Follow these steps and recommendations for its payment:
Visiting Cartagena’s Mayor’s Office website on www.cartagena.gov.co
Click on Trámites y Servicios, and then on Impuesto de Industria y comercio.
Choose your ID type. If a company, choose NIT
Type the ID number.
Choose the corresponding type of tax; for instance, ICA bimestral, ICA anual, Reteica, etc.
Print the form to a laser printer. (highly recommended)
After completing the application form, attach the following documents:
Application letter including the company’s name, TIN, and reference. Copy of Certificate of Incorporation and Legal Representation.
Copy of Taxpayer Identification Number -RUT-
Copy of the Legal Representative’s ID.
Registering your company to a Caja de Compensación Familiar, Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA) and Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF) is a mandatory formality required by the Colombian laws.
Visit the Caja de Compensación Familiar of your choice and submit the following documents:
Copy of the Taxpayer Identification Number -RUT-.
Copy of the Legal Representative’s ID.
Completed application form.
A utility bill to verify company address.
Payroll or list and IDs of the personnel of the company and their children.
An ARL is an entity in charge of covering any occupational risks and sick absences. You can register your company to the ARL of your choice. Requirements and formalities are similar for any ARL, and they are as follows:
Complete their application form.
Attach the following documents:
Copy of the Certificate of Incorporation and Legal Representation.
Copy of company’s Taxpayer Registration Number (RUT).
Copy of the company’s Legal Representative’s ID.
To invest in Cartagena as a commercial establishment or company, visit Secretaría de Planeación (Use of Land Planning Office) to know whether your company can be established in the place you have chosen.
Secretaría de Planeación is in charge of issuing the Use of Land Certificate after a simple procedure. We recommend you follow these steps to successfully obtain the certificate:
Then, visit Secretaría de Planeación and complete the Use of Land application form, which is attached hereto in Annex 6.
Attach the following documents to the application form:
Cadastral Reference duly sealed and issued by Instituto Geográfico Agustín Codazzí, indicating the property to be studied.
Deposit COP $24,600 into BBVA bank savings account No. 56-001400 to the order of FID. SERVITRUST GNB SUDAMERIS – EF ALCALDÍA DE CARTAGENA UT GNB-USO DE SUELO Y NOMENCLATURA.
Attach the deposit slip.
Submit your documentation at Edificio Inteligente post office in Chambacú.
In Colombia, foreign companies are those incorporated under the laws of a foreign country and have a registered office overseas. Please note, that different recommendations must be followed when incorporating a completely new company or when opening a foreign company branch.
For a foreign company to conduct businesses on a regular basis in Colombia, it is necessary to open a branch within the national territory, and the following documentation is required:
Business in which the branch will be engaged
Grounds for terminating business transactions
Legal representative appointment
Statutory auditor appointment
The petrochemicals-plastic cluster was consolidated by August 2009, under the framework of Cartagena and Bolívar’s Regional Competitiveness Plan, to formalize the boom of this economic activity in the city.
These are the main reasons why Cartagena and Bolívar are a strategic part of this sector:
Latin America’s most modern refinery is located in Cartagena. Its expansion involved:
The table below shows Bolivar’s main exporting during year 2015 and their market share; most of them belong to the petrochemicals–plastics sector.
Este sector aportó el 23% del valor agregado del departamento de Bolívar entre 2010 y 2014. Es jalonado por la presencia en Cartagena del principal astillero nacional, Cotecmar.
Somos sede del principal sector metalmecánico y asyillero de Colombia porque:
The following products are highlighted as part of the dynamic production chain, in terms of global trade:
The first place in the ranking of total exported products during 2015 is for “Other tubes, pipes and hollow profiles (iron or steel)” with a market share of 59.13% followed by “Iron or steel tubes, pipes and non-welded hollow profiles” with 27.84% of market share, obtaining the highest focus of the exporting market.
Cartagena and Bolívar are Colombia’s main port zone and Latin America’s fourth most important port zone in terms of cargo movement.
The department is Colombia’s exporting platform as it has:
Cartagena de Indias has six multiuser free trade zones (FTZ) that offer lands and warehouses to establish companies, which are customizable to satisfy the needs of users and harness the many benefits of the free trade regime.
Bolívar is the ideal department to develop a wide diversity of agro-industrial products, thanks to great agro-ecological conditons, such as sufficient and optimal water and soil resources suitable for plantations. Our agro-industrial potential is represented by:
The region offers a wide variety of tourist options, boosted by Cartagena de Indias, which holds the first place as the main touristy, holiday, and corporate destination of Colombia.
Bolívar has a great potential to develop renewable energy sources, and that is why Invest in Cartagena and Bolívar is currently developing a promotion and investment attraction portfolio for this sector, in order to foster alternative energy sources and harness the great advantages offered by the region.
The national government promotes the development of this sector. Law 1715 and Decree 2143, issued by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, promote the production of alternative energy, and one of the benefits is VAT and tariff exemption on equipment, machinery, and necessary tools to develop renewable energy sources.
Bolívar is in an Equatorial area that guarantees the optimal supply of solar radiation and winds all year round.
Galerazamba, to the north of the department, is the best place in Colombia where wind power can be generated, according to Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales (Ideam) and its Winds and Wind Power Atlas of Colombia.
Cartagena has a specific plan in place for climate change and is developing funding solutions to promote specific actions and investment initiatives through the 4Cs Plan –Climate Compatible and Competitive Cartagena- or within the framework thereof that allow achieving a resilient and committed city to the climate change by 2040.
Currently, Cartagena is home to several companies providing renewable energy technology solutions. One of them has 15 projects ready to be approved by the hotel, petrochemical, and food industries, which will decrease around 2,500 tons of CO2/year with an approximate investment of USD $3 million.
Action lines for clean energy production are based on:
1 - Energy consumption reduction:
2 - Smart reutilization:
3 - Renewable energy:
Cartagena and Bolívar emerge as an impressive and attractive option to become Colombia’s offshore exploration hub in the Caribbean, thanks to a consolidated industry sector, a strengthened supply chain, and their geographical proximity to concession-awarded blocks.
Enough space around the bay (outter areas externas and warehouses) to store pipelines, equipment, materials and supply: ports, warehouses, logistics complexes, free trade zones, among others.
Strengthened Supply Chain:
Source: DANE. Building Census. * Other: warehouses, education facilities, hotels, hospitals, public administration facilities
Bolívar is the Caribbean Coast department with the highest infrastructure investment
Source: Cotelco – Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism.