Market overview

Colombia closed its borders and banned international flights entering the country from 22 March. As of the 20 April, the Government extended the country's quarantine until the 11th May 27 April. All individuals in Colombia are required to shelter in place and remain inside. Most public locations are closed.

Individuals over the age of 70, are expected to self-quarantine through to May 2020. The national decree allows for movement under certain circumstances such as going to purchase groceries or medicine. Colombian authorities will enforce the quarantine restrictions.

However, the construction and the industrial manufacturing sectors with very specific sanitary protocols will be allowed to re-open. The Government may allow other sectors to eventually return to work, but it will ultimately, depend on the evolution of coronavirus cases and the response capacity of the health system.

Supply chain, freight & logistics

  • All national borders (land, sea and rivers) are closed for movement of people until May 30

  • Foreigners are not allowed to enter Colombia

  • International and national flights will remain suspended until the end of May, along with inter-municipal transport.

  • Public transport will operate at a maximum of 35% capacity

Government support

The lockdown has had a significant impact on Colombia's economy, which is now set to contract by up to 2.4% this year, according to Government predictions.

Business leaders have said that despite billions in social aid and credit guarantees, mass layoffs and bankruptcies could be on the horizon.

The Government has actively searching for financial resources to counteract the impacts of COVID-19 in Colombia. Those include the creation of a "National Emergency Mitigation Fund", that will be partially funded from regional and stabilisation funds. Colombia has also received a disbursement of US$250 million (development policy loan) from the World Bank.

New economic relief measures adopted, include:

  • A Solidarity package for some three million Colombians that do not have any formal employment and obtain their livelihood through informal economic activities i.e. street vendors, will receive US$ 40 per month.

  • An additional subsidised monthly payment of US$82 for current beneficiaries of social programmes (2.6 million families), and a subsidy of US$60 for two groups: 1.5 million low income elderly that belong to the "Colombia Mayor Programme" and 204,000 youngsters that are part of "Youngsters in Action Programme"

  • Lower income households will be able to defer the payments (up to 36 months) of basic utilities (power, water, gas).

  • School children that benefit from school meals would have their meals provided at home.

  • The government will reimburse VAT (19%) to lower income families

  • SMEs will be given special credit lines to guarantee payroll payments and maintain operations.

  • Regions will be able to lower local ICA (Industry tax) for companies

  • Lower tariffs on 24 medical equipment items entering the country

  • Bancoldex (State Bank for the Promotion of External Trade) will allocate a total of US$61 million. for tourism and aviation companies.

Sector insights

Colombia's main sectors disrupted include: Aviation and tourism, restaurants and bars, entertainment (cinemas and theatres) and general retail. To counteract the negative impact, the Government has announced a new credit line providing liquidity support to all tourism-related companies, delayed tax collection for the tourism and air transportation sectors, and faster direct contracting for services associated with the emergency response.

As an oil producing and exporting nation, Colombia has been impacted heavily by the 30% drop in demand and shock as oil prices head into negative territory. Exploration and investment plans are being delayed or cancelled.

Another important sector for Colombia is the mining sector. Whilst some mining operations have been able to operate some "essential services" during the quarantine period; there is a 75% drop in activity against BAU.

Additional resources

Below you can find information and contact details for other New Zealand government and international agencies regarding their response to COVID-19.

New Zealand Government agencies
COVID-19 helpline for businesses
New Zealand Customs
Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)
New Zealand Export Credit (NZEC)
MFAT Export Helpline
MFAT Safetravel
Callaghan Innovation
Ministry of Health
WorkSafe New Zealand

Global agencies

World Health Organization (WHO)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Contact NZTE

We're available to talk to you about any issues your export business is facing due to COVID-19.

For existing NZTE customers, please contact your New Zealand-based Customer Manager.

If you're unsure who to contact or haven't worked with us before, you can call NZTE on 0800 555 888 or email below and one of our Customer Advisors will help you.