Colombia led Latin America for pharmaceutical FDI in 2018, with the legalisation of medical cannabis production set to give it a further boost.

Colombia's pharmaceutical industry has grown in 2018, according to data from global greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets.

Between January 2011 and August 2018, Colombia ranked fourth overall in Latin America for pharmaceutical FDI by capital investment with $401.50m, behind Mexico ($522.50m), Brazil ($544.60m) and Argentina ($640.50m). During this period, Colombia recorded 19 FDI projects.

The primary source for pharmaceutical investment into Colombia was Canada, accounting for just under half of all capital investment between January 2011 and August 2018, followed by the US with just under 20% and India on 10%. These figures show that North America has dominated the sector with an annual average market share of 68.02%.

In 2018, the pharmaceutical sector has shown dynamic growth, reporting a rise of 3.75% above the annual average in its share of capital investment into Colombia. According to data from January to August 2018, Colombia has placed first in Latin America for pharmaceutical FDI, with an estimated $193m in capital investment, followed by Mexico ($157.5m) and Argentina ($100m). Colombia also comes top in 2018 for job creation.

Several prominent projects into Colombia in 2018 have been in the medicinal and botanical sub-sector, for example, Cronos Group is planning to establish medicinal cannabis cultivation and manufacturing operations and MYM Nutraceuticals has announced a joint venture agreement to set up jointly owned manufacturing operations in the country. 

Though the legalisation to grow, process, import and export cannabis for medical and scientific use in 2015 put Colombia at the forefront of a group of countries for regulatory reform, it appears that it did not immediately impact FDI. As the demand for medicinal cannabis in foreign markets has grown, it has given greater impetus to supply, with Colombia becoming a focal point for pharmaceutical FDI in Latin America.

This article is sourced from fDi Magazine
fDi Magazine
Credit: Jonathan Wildsmith

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