Since 1994 Colombia has cultivated contacts with more than 40 countries (including Germany, France, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, China and the Netherlands) for the purpose of entering into bilateral agreements for the promotion of foreign investments.

In its new document "Policy Guidelines for Negotiation of International Agreements on Foreign Investments", the Council of Economic and Social Policy approves guidelines for the negotiation of international agreements for foreign investments.

The guidelines promote flexible policies for the negotiation of these agreements and aim to attract new foreign investment in Columbia, which has decreased in recent years. In addition, the guidelines encourage Colombia to be more competitive in the execution of bilateral agreements, and the promotion and protection of investments.

Before the adoption of the new policy, Colombia excluded loans and any other transactions implying foreign indebtedness from its definition of 'investment', thus imposing an obstacle to the negotiation of bilateral agreements. The new guidelines include indebtedness in the definition of 'investment'.

The negotiating team that represents Colombia in such agreements will comprise representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Trade (in the capacity of coordinator and head of delegation), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Planning Department. The Central Bank will advise the team.

The guidelines await the Ministry of Foreign Trade's definition of a 'negotiation agenda' and the appointment of international experts for their opinions in relation to modifications to Columbia's negotiation policy.

For further information on this topic please contact Rodrigo Lozano at Posse, Herrera & Ruiz by telephone (+57 1 312 3124) or by fax (+57 1 3130259) or by email ([email protected]).