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Fashion sector

Fashion sector

Opportunities for the Fashion Sector

  • The fashion sector accounts for 13% of the Industrial GDP, close to 1.6% of the national value-added and 5% of Colombia's total exports. The National Institute for Exports and Fashion (Instituto para la Exportación y la Moda, Inexmoda), The National Administrative Department of Statistics (Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística, DANE) and the National Planning Department (Departamento Nacional de Planeación, DNP), 2011.
  • In 2011 the textile industry grew by 6.4% and the apparel construction industry grew by 5.5% driven by internal demand. DANE, 2011.
  • Total sales for the sector grew to an annual compound rate of 8% since 2000. DANE and The National Association of Colombian Industrialists (Asociación Nacional de Empresarios de Colombia, ANDI), 2011.
  • Increased imports of 46% to meet the internal and external demand: the apparel sector saw a 67% growth; leather, footwear and leather goods saw a 47% growth, while textiles grew by 40%. The National Directorate of Taxes and Customs (Dirección Nacional de Impuestos y Aduanas, DIAN), 2011, and INEXMODA.
  • Big-name multinationals in the sector have set up operations in Colombia, including: Kaltex, Polymer Group and Park Dale Mils.

Business Opportunities in Colombia


  • A sector steeped with tradition: Over 100 years of experience and a consolidated production chain.
  • High level of job creation: around 110,000 direct jobs accounting for 20% of the workforce in the industrial sector. Inexmoda, 2012.
  • More than 30,000 companies registered with Chambers of Commerce. Inexmoda, 2012.
  • More than 70% of companies participate in apparel, manufacturing and trade activities. There exist investment opportunities with vertical integration in the areas of textiles, fibres, raw materials and services. Inexmoda, 2012.
  • In 2011 imports increased by 75% to meet the external demand, mainly for technical textiles. DIAN, 2011.

Research & development

  • Initiatives and incentives from the Colombian government to boost R&D&I in the sector. The Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación, Colciencias).
  • High intellectual property standards: Protection of industrial property in compliance with international standards (20 year protection to patent owners).
  • Five years protection of information not disclosed in commercial records.
  • Opportunities for the sector's research institutes and centres: development of new fibres and inputs, functional textiles, processes and finishes for the industry.


  • Bogota
  • Medellin
  • Cali
  • Barranquilla
  • Bucaramanga
  • Pereira
  • Risaralda