Andrew Abela-Maldonado on Recent Changes in Colombian Procedural Law

Andrew Abela-Maldonado on Recent Changes in Colombian Procedural Law

Opening its markets, Colombia has become an attractive alternative to foreign investors. Recent procedural regulatory changes that will affect national and cross border transactions. The country is busy promoting investment frameworks and revamping the efficiency of its procedural regulations. Four regulatory modifications have been implemented or will be shortly that affect the legal framework for both national or cross border litigation.

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Pursuing a policy to open its markets and expand its commercial activities, Colombia has become an attractive alternative to foreign investors. Colombia has issued and is about to issue significant procedural regulatory changes that will affect national and cross border transactions.

For 25 years, the globalization of economic activities has inevitably impacted Colombia. As such, the country is busy promoting attractive investment frameworks and revamping the efficiency of its procedural regulations. Currently, Colombia is negotiating or has negotiated several free trade or economic integration treaties. These include free trade agreements between the Andean Community Countries (Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia), the Mercosur Countries, and the United States. Likewise, Colombia has both commenced or concluded negotiations of free trade agreements with several Central American countries, and with Panama, Chile, Canada, Japan, Mexico, the European Trade Association (including Luxembourg, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland), South Korea, Israel, Turkey, and the European Union.

These and other existing free trade agreements (or treaties dealing with the reciprocal protection and promotion of foreign investments, which Colombia has executed or is negotiating with countries like Chile, Spain, China, and the United Kingdom), do create a legal framework that may optimize any foreign investment by the parties. These agreements include provisions on dispute resolution, which can be construed as a way to facilitate any potential litigation or enforcement of a foreign judgment.

With this extensive background in mind, there are four significant regulatory modifications that have been implemented or will be approved shortly. These affect the legal framework available for both national or cross border litigation. [footnotes omitted]

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Andrew Abela-Maldonado is a founding partner in Abela Maldonado & Asociados. He has 25 years of experience in civil, commercial, administrative, and banking law, project finance, energy and gas law, as well as significant experience in arbitration and litigation. He advises both local and international clients in connection with cross-border transactions, including stock and asset acquisitions, mergers, spin-offs, joint ventures in Colombia. He also assists domestic and international companies and financial entities in the structuring financing, foreign investments, gas and energy transactions, administrative and civil law issues, as well as on litigation and arbitration proceedings. Mr. Abela-Maldonado is a member of the Arbitrator List of the Arbitration and Conciliation Centre of the Chamber of Commerce of Bogota. He teaches contract law and international commercial law, and is a frequent author in his field.