Colombia - Commercial Guide
Project Financing

Includes how major projects are financed and gives examples where relevant. Explains activities of the multilateral development banks in and other aid-funded projects where procurement is open to U.S. bidders.

Last published date: 2019-10-13
Multilateral Development Banks U.S. Commercial Service Liaison Offices at the Multilateral Development Banks (Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank)
The Commercial Service maintains Commercial Liaison Offices in each of the main Multilateral Development Banks, including the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank. These institutions lend billions of dollars in developing countries on projects aimed at accelerating economic growth and social development by reducing poverty and inequality, improving health and education, and advancing infrastructure development. The Commercial Liaison Offices help American businesses learn how to get involved in bank-funded projects, and advocate on behalf of American bidders. Learn more by contacting the Commercial Liaison Offices to the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank.

Web Resources
Commercial Liaison Office to the Inter-American Development Bank
Commercial Liaison Office to the World Bank

The government and the Central Bank are important sources of funding for the financial system. The Central Bank, in addition to providing the usual discount facilities to support system liquidity, manages several special government funds to promote lending into a number of sectors that have been determined to be important to national development or economically essential. The funding comes from government capital, bonds, and current fiscal appropriations, if needed to cover deficits. Access to the funds tends to require considerable paperwork; applicants must qualify and margins are limited. Their importance as a funding resource has diminished in recent years.

Leasing, and domestic and international (both operating and capital) financing are becoming popular, mainly because of tax benefits. Factoring and international credit insurance is available. Transactional financing is more associated with trade in consumer goods, while equity-based financing is more commonly used for project financing.

Colombian exporters have access to credit offered by the Colombian Foreign Trade Bank (Bancoldex). This credit is also extended to Colombian importers for industrial imports.

Foreign investors have full access to local credit. While the Colombian Government still directs credit to some areas (notably agriculture), credit is mostly allocated by the private financial market. Loans of foreign origin or foreign financing of imports are permitted.

Ex-Im: The Export-Import Bank of the United States provides a full range of services in Colombia. Ex-Im offers a range of loan, insurance, and loan guarantee programs to facilitate exports of U.S. goods and services to Colombian governmental and private companies.

OPIC:  The Overseas Private Investment Corporation is a U.S. government agency that supports, finances, and insures projects that have a positive effect on U.S. employment, are financially sound and promise benefits to the social and economic development of the host country. OPIC assistance is available for new investments, privatization, and for expansion and modernization of existing plants sponsored by U.S. investors.

IADC: The Inter-American Development Corporation provides development capital to export oriented companies in the agricultural business through “Corfisura Fondo de Desarrollo de Empresas,” Colombia's first development capital fund in manufacturing, mining, and emerging technology sectors.
Additional multilateral agencies such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Andean Development Corporation (CAF), the Export Import Bank of Japan, and USAID (and development agencies of Japan and Canada) are active in providing financing for projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Andean Development Corporation (Corporacion Andina de Fomento) is the only organization to provide major direct financing for green field projects in Colombia. The CAF has provided direct financing to the private sector for the development of green field projects in various infrastructure sectors.