Colombia - Economic sectors

Colombia is the world's second-largest coffee grower and coffee exporter (after Brazil), accounting for 31.2 percent of the world's production. Coffee production and exports were a major engine of growth during most of the twentieth century. However, by the end of the century, the country had achieved greater diversification. By 1999, agriculture accounted for 19.7 percent of GDP, while manufacturing attained 18.9 percent, and the banking and insurance sector accounted for 15.8 percent. Of less significance were commerce, restaurants and similar activities with 8.8 percent, mining at 4.2 percent, government services with 8.9 percent, construction at 3.4 percent, and electricity, gas, and water with only 1.1 percent. An overview of the productive landscape shows agriculture diminishing over time, with a considerable increase in services, a mining sector (mostly oil and coal) growing in terms of output and exports though diminishing in terms of employment, and a stagnating manufacturing sector. Although these sweeping changes led to the diminishment of agriculture, some agricultural products have seen higher levels of revenue over the last forty years, either through modernization in the production of established crops (cotton, sugar cane, bananas, and cocoa) or through introduction of new ones, like cut flowers.

Changes in population growth have been accompanied by a major shift in the distribution of the economically active population. In 1960, 50.1 percent of the labor force was engaged in agriculture, 19.5 percent in industry, and 30.4 percent in services. By 1980 the figures

were 34.3, 23.5, and 42.2 percent, respectively, and by 1999 they stood at 30 percent, 24 percent, and 46 percent, respectively. These shifts reflect a different composition of economic output and have altered many economic relations in the country.

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