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
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
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.