Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
NEW! Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+ Try 7 Days Free

Colombia to 'radically diversify' exports, says new finance minister

Economic Indicators Aug 11, 2022 12:26PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Colombia's incoming Finance Minister Jose Antonio Ocampo reacts during an interview with Reuters, in Bogota, Colombia, August 2, 2022. REUTERS/Vannessa Jimenez/File Photo

By Nelson Bocanegra

CARTAGENA (Reuters) - Colombia will prioritize the diversification of its exports to reduce its dependence on oil, gas and mining and combat its high trade deficit, its new Finance Minister Jose Antonio Ocampo said on Thursday.

The administration of leftist President Gustavo Petro, who took office on Sunday, has already proposed a tax reform set to raise 25 trillion pesos, some $5.8 billion, for social programs in 2023 - partly through increased duties on oil and coal exports - and is backing a bill to ban fracking for hydrocarbons.

Ocampo, speaking at the Colombian Business Association's annual conference, said he is open to changes to the tax bill but will not modify the amount being sought, which will also help reduce a fiscal deficit of some 80 trillion pesos.

Colombia accumulated a nearly $6.5 billion trade balance deficit between January and May, up 20.5% on the same period a year earlier.

The trade balance is the top reason for a wide current account deficit, which doubled last year to $17.8 billion, equivalent to 5.7% of gross domestic product. The central bank estimates that deficit will fall to 5.1% of GDP this year.

"The issue of exports is the number one priority for the government in terms of productive development," Ocampo said during his presentation at the conference.

"The commercial deficit has deteriorated, it's a serious problem," he added. "We continue to depend a lot on oil and coal as exports and we need to radically diversify, it's an important challenge."

Exports of oil and coal reached $15.6 billion during the first half of the year and accounted for 54.5% of the country's exports.

Business groups have said the reform, which would raise duties on companies by 12 trillion pesos ($2.8 billion), could hurt investment.

"All these issues we can debate and analyze if there are better solutions, but the alternative is not to reduce the amount," Ocampo said. "That alternative doesn't exist."

($1 = 4,273.82 pesos)

Colombia to 'radically diversify' exports, says new finance minister

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email