Colombia Sees Foreign Investment, Exports Decline During First Half

The country received $9.56 billion in foreign direct investment in first half, a 4.7% drop compared with the same period of last year, while exports fell 12.6%

The country received $9.56 billion in foreign direct investment in first half, a 4.7% drop compared with the same period of last year.
September 03, 2023 | 12:00 PM

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Bogotá — Foreign direct investment in Colombia decreased by 4.7% during the first six months of the year compared to the same six months of 2022.

According to figures from the balance of payments of the Bank of the Republic, the country received $9.56 billion during first half, while in the same period last year the total was $10.03 billion.

Drop in exports

During first half, income from merchandise exports also decreased, totaling $26.23 billion, an annual drop of 12.6%, or $3.79 billion.

This reduction in exports was mainly due to lower sales of crude oil ($3.11 billion) and, to a lesser extent, coffee ($593 million) and coal ($238 million).


The lower export value of crude oil and coffee is explained by the decrease in their export prices (of 33.8% and 17.5%, respectively) and in the quantities shipped (2.9% and 14.5%, respectively).

On the other hand, the lower external sales of coal are explained by the smaller quantity sold (6%), partially offset by the increase in coal export prices.

The imported value of goods during the first half of 2023 totaled $29.89 billion, an annual reduction of 16.1% ($5.74 billion).


This decrease is mainly explained by lower imports of raw materials and capital goods for industry ($3.81 billion, or 20.5%) and to a lesser extent by imports of fuels and lubricants ($661 million, or 19.5%) and transportation equipment ($509 million, or 16.8% lower).

The most recent balance of payments of the central bank (Banco de la República) shows that the current account deficit in the first half of the year was 3% of GDP.

According to information provided by the central bank during the second quarter of 2023, the current account of the country’s balance of payments registered a deficit of $2.52 billion, $861 million less than that obtained in the immediately preceding quarter.

A lower deficit

As a proportion of quarterly GDP, the deficit is estimated at 3%, 1.2 percentage points lower than that estimated for the first quarter of this year. This reduction was due to the decrease in the current deficit in dollars (1.1 pp) and the effect of the peso’s appreciation against the dollar on the measurement of nominal GDP in dollars (0.2 pp), partially offset by the reduction in nominal GDP in pesos (0.1 pp).

Meanwhile, the financial account, including an increase in international reserves of $365 million, recorded net capital inflows of $2.84 billion, $16 million higher than in the first quarter of 2023.