8 julio, 2024

Secondary sector in Colombia: activities and characteristics

He secondary sector in Colombia represents a large part of the economic growth of that country. Its main strength lies in oil, mining, the textile and clothing industry, the automobile industry or crafts. Although the first two activities belong to the primary sector, they are included in the secondary because they have generated an important industry for the transformation of these resources.

The secondary sector is made up of all those activities that involve the transformation of goods, which are used as raw material for the manufacture of other elements.

The Colombian industrial sector is one of those that offers the most economic contributions to the country. Much of Colombia’s exports are made up of products generated from this sector and, although internal policies are necessary for the development of the area, the international scene also has a lot of influence.

Activities of the Colombian secondary sector


The oil industry is one of the most important in the nation. A few years ago, the Colombian oil industry experienced a decline generated, among other things, by the global drop in oil prices. However, the industrial push has promoted notable gains.


Mining is another of the relevant practices of the Colombian secondary sector. In Colombia there are 211 types of minerals that are exploited, among which gold, emeralds, diamonds, coal, nickel and copper stand out.

These types of industries are strongly affected by international scenarios, since they depend on the price range, political situations, etc.

Textile and clothing

The textile and clothing sector generates some 950 million square meters of fabrics, which implies that some 200,000 direct jobs and more than 600,000 indirect jobs are generated.

About 30% of what is produced is exported, production divided into 10,000 factories distributed throughout the country.

New challenges have arisen in the textile industry, such as the need to expand markets and increase productivity levels.

One of the difficulties that the Colombian textile industry has encountered is trying to enter a market together with products made in Asia, which are usually much cheaper.

In addition, some representatives of the sector indicate that there is currently little workforce interested in participating in the textile industry, which makes it impossible to maintain delivery deadlines and respond to large demands.

From some government institutions, such as the Chamber of Textiles and Clothing of the Association of Industrialists of Colombia, they have sought to create alliances with other countries, such as Costa Rica or Guatemala, to reduce tariffs or generate production or marketing agreements.

Greater benefits have also been sought through the Productive Transformation Program, whose intention has been to reduce costs and increase both production and exports.

Automotive industry

The Colombian automotive industry represents 4% of the country’s industrial production, generating 3.5% of jobs in the manufacturing sector.

This sector has experienced different scenarios. Domestic consumption of cars manufactured in Colombia has tended to drop, unlike exports, which have increased a few points.

In 2013 Colombia inaugurated its first car factory. This initiative came through the Industrial Reconversion Project, with the purpose of increasing the productive development of the country.

More than 200 million dollars were invested, 1,000 new jobs were created and a production of 60,000 cars per year was projected.

Colombia has carried out different practices that contribute to the development of the sector. One of these has been the training of Colombians in applied robotics, through which they have programmed robots that participate in the manufacture of automobiles, allowing greater automation of processes and a more efficient experience.


The craft sector is commonly seen as an area that does not contribute much to the country’s economic growth. However, andhe 15% of the manufacturing industry in Colombia is made up of crafts. Woven materials, wood carving and ceramic work stand out among the most produced products.

In recent years, different government initiatives have been carried out that seek to support this practice and make it competitive, both in the domestic and international markets.

Other secondary sector activities

Food industry. Beverage industry. Coffee production industry and all its derivatives. Construction Industry. Cement factory. Chemical and petrochemical industry.

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