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COLOMBIA: TOP SOURCE FOR THE FASHION INDUSTRY, TEXTILE, AND APPAREL Colombia has a Free Trade Agreement with the USA since 2012, that grants preferential import tariffs for American Companies. Colombia has a privileged geographical position on the northwestern corner of South America, bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the north side and the Pacific Ocean to the west side. It shares its borders with Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador. It also shares its maritime borders with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and Haiti. Traveling by plane, Colombia is 3 hours away from Miami, 5 and a half from New York, less than 5 from Mexico City, 5 from Santiago, and 6 from Buenos Aires. The country is one of the most cross-border integrated in Latin America; Ernst and Young’s 2012 Globalization Index places Colombia as the third country in Latin America, above world economies such as China, Japan, Brazil, Russia, and Indonesia. Colombia’s new and rebranded economic reality, reviving prosperity, stronger democratic power, and untapped valuable resources, have made it a powerhouse in the region for the fashion industry, textile, and apparel. Colombia has a strong history of manufacturing textiles and apparel for the fashion leaders. Just last year Colombia exported to 168 countries. As a result of its great connectivity, competitive lead times, resource diversity, and 100 years of experience, Colombia’s textile and apparel industry has become a magnet for international buyers to find the best high-end competitive products. Colombia’s new and rebranded economic reality, reviving prosperity, stronger democratic power, and untapped valuable resources, have made it a powerhouse in the region for the fashion industry, textile, and apparel. Colombia has a strong history of manufacturing textiles and apparel for the fashion leaders. Just last year Colombia exported to 168 countries.
As a result of its great connectivity, competitive lead times, resource diversity, and 100 years of experience, Colombia’s textile and apparel industry has become a magnet for international buyers to find the best high-end competitive products. In Colombia, there are around 800 companies1 becoming major players in the global supply chain for the fashion industry generating 9.3% of the manufacturing GDP and growing its exports of 4.7% CAGR over the past decade.2 In 2012, the textiles and apparel exports grew by 3.4% due to a 3-prong approach leveraging the positive international economic recovery, the growing bilateral trade relations with neighboring markets such as Venezuela and Ecuador, and the exports diversification efforts from the Government and the private sector. The United States is the top importer of Colombian apparel with a 20%3 share in exports, ranking Colombia as the 30th top4 supplier of apparel in 2012.
IN COLOMBIA? MORE THAN 100 YEARS OF TRADITION, EXPERIENCE, AND DEVELOPMENT: This industry offers more than 100 years of experience in manufacturing fabrics and apparel for the fashion industry, locally and internationally. Colombia has become a hub in Latin America thanks to its competitive production and quality during the last ten years. With exports exceeding one million dollars per year, Colombia is currently a competitive supplier of apparel and textile goods in Latin America. EVERY YEAR COLOMBIA HOSTS SPECIALIZED SOURCING TRADESHOWS:
• Colombiatex (January): Colombia’s main platform for textile and raw materials for the apparel industry. Over 450 exhibitors. Tailor-made factory visits are offered to U.S. companies seeking full package solutions. • Colombiamoda (July): Colombia’s main platform for local brands and factories featuring over 400 exhibitors. Tailor-made factory visits are offered to U.S. companies seeking full package solutions. VERTICALLY INTEGRATED INDUSTRY - FULL PACKAGE: Colombia’s industry has vertically integrated processes that include design, cut, print, and distribution. COMPETITIVE DELIVERY TIMES: The average delivery time is 28 days. COMPETITIVE LEAD COSTS: Colombia has beaten Asian countries in pricing through shortening delivery times because of its proximity to the U.S. INNOVATION FOR FLEXIBLE PRODUCTION AND FAST TURNAROUND: Colombian companies have invested heavily in technology to generate efficiency, effectiveness, and flexibility to adapt to consumer demands and styles at any production level. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT: The combination of abundance in raw materials, technology, and pursuit of research has made Colombia an attractive hub to push innovation boundaries.. CUSTOMIZED SOURCING SOLUTIONS: Colombian companies offer a variety of customized sourcing solutions that meet and exceed global trends and technology innovations. EXCEPTIONAL NEEDLEWORK, HIGHLY TRAINED WORKERS, SKILLED MANAGEMENT: Attention to detail and outstanding needlework has almost
become a trademark of Colombian ingenuity. QUALITY AND HIGH-END PRODUCTS: Colombian companies go the extra mile. Apparel and textile production is enacted according to quality standards, which guarantee the design, size, and color gamut to satisfy international market standards. There is a corporate culture to keep an eye for detail, always working with high-quality materials, and ensuring a swift production process. ECO-FRIENDLY MANUFACTURING CAPABILITIES: Colombian producers offer eco-green solutions made with organic textiles. A SOCIAL RESPONSIBLE INDUSTRY: This industry is committed to being socially responsible responding to the needs of the community by supporting several social responsible programs benefiting mothers, people who have been displaced by violence in the countryside, and others. PREFERENTIAL TARIFFS: As a result of the signed Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Colombia, American buyers can enjoy 0% tariff in a great number of textiles and apparel products, some of which are listed below. APPAREL EXPORTS BY CATEGORY: Today, our textile and apparel industry has more than 800 companies providing everything from buttons and detailed stitch-work to fully constructed haute couture. Colombia is ready to fulfill your expectations and needs of your customers in: • Uniforms • Sportswear • Footwear and leather goods • Accessories and more • Swimwear • Jeanswear • Intimates
TOP INTERNATIONAL BRANDS HAVE CHOSEN COLOMBIA AS THEIR SOURCING PARTNER Preferential import tariffs granted by the Free Trade Agreement:
Apparel exports diversity to US 2002-2012 (USD Millions)
Description According to the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule
Women's or girls' knitted or crocheted swimwear of synthetic fibers
Girdles and panty-girdles
Brassieres containing lace, net, or embroidery, containing under 70% by weight of silk or silk waste, whether or not knitted or crocheted
Women's or girls' trousers, breeches and shorts, not knitted or crocheted, of cotton, nesoi
T-shirts, singlets, tank tops, and similar garments, knitted or crocheted, of cotton
Knitted or crocheted fabrics, width exceeding 30 cm, containing 5% or more of elastomeric yarn but no rubber thread, not of heading 6001
Mechanically made lace, in the piece, in strips or in motifs (not fabric of heading 6002), of man-made fibers
Dyed knitted or crocheted fabrics of synthetic fibers, nesoi
Footwear w/outer soles of rubber/plastics/ comp. leather & uppers of leather, n/cov. Ankle, for women/child./infants, val. over $2.50/pair
Toilet linen and kitchen linen, of terry toweling or similar terry fabrics, of cotton
Denim containing 85% or more cotton by weight, weighing more than 200 g/m2, of yarns of different colors
Denim containing < 85% cotton by wt, mixed mainly/solely w/man-made fibers, weighing > 200 g/m2, of yarns of different colors
Gimped yarn, and strip and the like of man-made monofilament; chenille yarn; loop wale-yarn
Men's or boys' underpants and briefs, knitted or crocheted, of cotton
Braces, suspenders, garters and similar articles and parts thereof
Brassieres, containing lace, net or embroidery, containing 70% or more by weight of silk or silk waste, whether or not knitted or crocheted
Full grain unsplit/grain split bovine (except buffalo) nesoi and equine hides/skins, w/o hair, tanned not further prepared, in the wet state
300.0 T-Shirts Jeans
Underwear Swimwear 200.0
100.0 62.0 50.0 23.5 2002
Apparel exports diversity to US 2002-2012 (USD Millions) 250.0
T-Shirts Jeans Underwear
100.0 58.1 50.0 29.4 16.0 4.3 2002
US Tariff Elimination Offer to Colombia
Source: Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (MICT).
Top international brands have chosen Colombia as their Sourcing partner:
WHY SOURCING IN COLOMBIA? TOP 5 MOST SOUGHT AFTER
COLOMBIAN PRODUCTS ABROAD: Over the past five years, the top exporting apparel products have steadily been denim apparel, knitted /crocheted fabrics, kitchen linen, cotton T-shirts, and bras, representing 26% in 2007 and 24% in 2012, of the total textile & apparel production share. Many other apparel products are produced including towels and kitchen supplies, leather, etc.
Top Exports by Product % 2009 5% 3%
3% 2% 6%
2012 Top 10 countries importing Colombia’s textile and apparel:
Share % 2012
79% Top Exports by Product % 2012 7% 4% 4% 4% 3% 3%
Men’s or boys’ pants, tousers, breeches and shorts (other than swimwear) of denim. Brassieres
Leather further prepared after tanning or crusting, including parchment-dressed leather, of bovine (including buffalo) or equine animals, without hair on, whether or not split. Women’s or girls’ pants, skirts, trousers, breeches and shorts.
Knitted or crocheted fabrics of width exceeding 30cm, containing by weight 5 percent or more of elastomeric yarn or rubber thread, other than those of heading 6001.
Toilet linen and kitchen linen, of terry toweling or similar terry fabrics, of cotton.
OPPORTUNITIES LOGISTICS Colombia’s geographic location enables easy access to the U.S. and short lead times. The industry’s growth has led to the development of logistics in the distribution chain. With excellent transportation services, Colombia is dedicated to serve international buyers’ logistical requests for just-in-time deliveries.
• Transit time by sea between Colombia (Cartagena) and United States (Miami or Port Everglades) can last from 3 to 14 days. Additionally, there is availability of direct freight services between Cartagena-New York in only 7 days.
Bordering the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, Colombia holds a strategic foothold in the region. Goods can be shipped from the ports of Cartagena and Barranquilla to the port of Miami arriving on average in 3 to 8 days, and those shipped from Cartagena to the port of New York typically take 6 days. Transporting products via air from Colombia to Miami usually takes only 3 hours.
• Biggest advantage of Colombia over China: The average transit time by sea between China and United States is about 15-32 days. By contrast, the average time by sea between Colombia and United States is about 3-16 days.
LOGISTICS KEY FACTS:
• 3 hours average transit time from Bogota to Miami.
With over 600 ocean-freight and air services to the U.S., Colombia offers distinguished export logistics.
• Flights to every major destination in the Americas.
• 14 cargo airlines flying between Colombia and United States (Every day cargo services).
• 21 shipping companies serve routes between Colombia and United States.
• Capacity: from 15 to 52 Tons.
• 4 Major ports on the Caribbean Sea in the cities of Cartagena, Barran quilla, Santa Marta, and the city of Buenaventura sitting on the Pacific Ocean. • 326 serving routes between Colombia and United States including: • 79 direct weekly sea-freight services routes from Colombia to the United States.
• 8266 cargo flights between Colombia-U.S. (Includes cargo flight and passenger’s flights with cargo services). There are International Freight Airports in the following cities: Bogota, Barranquilla, Cali, Medellin, and Cartagena. • Second largest advantage of Colombia over China:The average transit time by air between China and average transit time between Colombia and United States is about 3-9 hours. In addition, Colombia is the best place to buy apparel with cheaper air freight rates.
Cont. 20 (US/ton)
USA (Los Angeles)
14 days (stop Colon-Panama)
USA (Port Everglades)
USA (New York)
USA (Los Angeles)
16 days (stop Colon-Panama)
USA (Port Everglades)
7 days (stop Cartagena-Colombia)
USA (New York)
10 days (stop Cartagena-Colombia)
USA (Los Angeles)
8h. 19min. (stop San Salvador)
USA (New York)
6h. 10min. (stop Miami - USA)
LET US BE YOUR ALLY Proexport Colombia provides you with reliable information about the industry and facilitates your business transactions with Colombian suppliers. We can help prepare information tailored to your needs, organized personalized agendas with potential suppliers in Colombia, and walk you through the entire process of connecting you with the country.
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