After negative results in January 2021, due to new restrictions to contain the second wave of covid-19 infections, the Colombian economy improved in February. Yet, figures are still negative. According to the DANE's Economic Monitoring Indicator (ISE) the gross domestic product (GDP) may have decreased by -3.48 percentage points in February. Among all sectors of the economy, the primary sector decreased by -1.10 percentage points compared to last year.
From January to March 2021, 96,431 new business were established nationwide, 9,3% higher than in the same period last year. Out of all created companies, 75.4% correspond to legal personas and 24.6% to companies. Small businesses recorded the highest jump (27.2%), followed by industrial firms (17.9%).
In March 2021, the business confidence index grew for the second consecutive month, informed Dane. Over the past three months, it passed from 48.7 in January 2021 to 53.1 in March. Last month, among all economic sectors, manufacturing industries registered the highest rate (54.7), followed by construction (53) and public services (50.9).
The Ministry of Health announced yesterday its decision to allow private parties to acquire and provide vaccines against Covid-19. The government also released specific guidelines that companies must follow. In detail, companies can only purchase vaccines directly from producers, such as AstraZeneca and Pfizer.
In the first quarter of 2021, Colombia ranked second in fintech investment among South American countries. Brazilian firms received most of the assets ($969 million), while Colombian firms, in the second position, attracted $48 million, followed by Chilean companies at $41 million.
In February 2021, exports totalled $2.9 billion while imports $3.6 billion, resulting in a $714 million deficit, reported Dane. Yet, it was $116 million lower than the same period last year. Imported fuels and other products related to the extractive industries had the largest drop at 24.2% among imports.
The Bogota Chamber of Commerce and the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry will create a bilateral business council to strengthen trade relations between the two countries. In 2020, Colombian exports to South Korea rose by 18% to $ 571 million, while South Korean imports to Colombia decreased by 10.71% to $676 million.
Since the National Government resumed air traffic operations in September 2020, the National Civil Aeronautics agency has approved 32 international and 15 local routes for passenger transport. Most of the new international routes are for Central and North American destinations. Within Colombia, Cartagena and Santa Marta register the highest increase in new services.
In the week of April 3 to 9, 2021, energy demand rose by 14% compared to the same month last year, reported The Ministry of Mines and Energy of Colombia. Compared to the previous week, energy demand also increased by 2.2% to 198.2GWh per day on average.
In February 2021, exports value from free zones decreased by 5.8% to $212.2 million, compared to the same month last year ($225.4 million), revealed the National Administrative Department of Statistics (Dane). Exports to Puerto Rico, Netherlands and India, registered the sharpest drop compared to February 2020.