Subnational Data

Doing Business in Colombia 2013

Also available in Spanish
Author: Subnational Doing Business
Published: August 29, 2013
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Doing Business in Colombia 2013, the third subnational report of the Doing Business series in Colombia, compares business regulations across 23 cities. The report focuses on local and national regulations that affect 5 stages in the life of a small to medium-size domestic firm: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, paying taxes and trading across borders. It identifies differences in local regulations and the enforcement of national regulations at the local level that can enhance or constrain local business activity. The report finds that Colombian cities continue to implement regulatory business reforms converging towards best regulatory practices.

 Where is it easiest to do business in Colombia?

Main Findings

  • Between 2009 and 2012, all the cities improved in at least one of the areas measured.
  • As a result of their continuous reform effort, Manizales and Ibagué remain at the top of the ranking.
  • For the first time, the largest cities showed the greatest improvements—Medellín, Bucaramanga, Cartagena, and Bogotá made the most progress.
  • A total of 62 regulatory reforms that facilitate starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, and paying taxes were recorded.
  • Reforms mainly consisted in local implementation of national regulations—but there were also local reform initiatives mostly in the areas of starting a business and paying taxes.
  • Colombia’s pace towards bettering its business regulatory environment has been the fastest in Latin America and is moving the country’s performance closer to the average of high-income OECD economies.
  • No single city outperforms the others in all areas. Uneven performance across areas reveals opportunities to continue reforming at the local level and to learn from best practices.

 See trading across borders details on 4 port cities in Colombia.

Cities progress in Colombia