A new edition of the Departmental Competitiveness Index (IDC) for the 32 departments of the country and the city of Bogotá, carried out by the Private Competitiveness Council (CPC) and the Universidad del Rosario.

One of the most important results of the measurement is the observed deterioration of performance in a good part of the departments. In general terms, there is an increase in the difference in scores between the best (Bogotá) and the worst in the measurement (Vichada), and not only this, but also 20 of the 33 territories evaluated registered a drop in their scoreCompared to last year’s estimate.

(Also read: Atlántico, the most competitive department in the Caribbean region)

The most significant gaps between departments occurred in ICT adoption, financial system, sophistication and diversification and innovation, in which the difference in scores between the best and the worst was greater than 9.0, on a scale between 0 and 10.

It is about accompanying the efforts made from all regions
of Colombia for building higher levels of competitiveness

In particular, it is found that the relative performance of the departments was quite heterogeneous in indicators such as bandwidth of Fixed Internet, financial inclusiondiversification of the export basket and researchers per capita.

«It is about accompanying the efforts that are made from all the regions of Colombia to build higher levels of competitiveness, to close gaps and to continue on the unavoidable path of progress, it is really the effort to improve people’s living conditions”, highlighted Ana Fernanda Maiguashca, president of the Private Competitiveness Council.

This version of the IDC is particularly important due to the current political and economic situation, since its results somehow illustrate the management of regional governments Their period ends on December 31 and offer a baseline for the local administrations that will arrive.

Competitiveness ranking

Of the 33 territories evaluated in the IDC, 16 did not register changes with respect to the position they had in 2022, nine appeared better and eight fell in the ranking.

In the first positions are the city of Bogotá and Antioquia, Atlántico, Risaralda and Valle del Cauca. When comparing the results with the recalculation of 2022, the top ten positions in the general ranking did not present changes.

The capital of Colombia is first in the ranking, by leading 10 of the 13 pillars that make up the measurement and maintaining its score compared to the recalculation of 2022 (8.47 out of 10). In second place is Antioquia, with a score of 6.72, reducing its rating by 0.1 points compared to last year.

In third place in the classification is Atlántico, which respects a score of 6.31. The top five is completed by Risaralda -maintaining its score at 6.22- and Valle del Cauca, which reduced its overall score by 0.1, leaving it at 6.11 out of 10.

The last positions of the measurement are occupied by Chocó (3.08 points), Amazonas (2.96 points), Vaupés (2.85 points)Guainía (2.60 points) and Vichada (1.78 points).

(Also read: These are the 10 most competitive departments in Colombia in 2023)

Bogotá is first in the ranking, leading 10 of the 13 pillars.


Jamie Garcia. TIME

With this edition of the IDC we wanted to recognize local initiatives that have shown successes in public policy

Notable promotions were presented in the general ranks, as is the case of Arauca, which discounted two positions compared to the recalculation of 2022. Likewise, the departments of Bolívar, Huila, San Andrés, Magdalena, Cesar, Guaviare, Chocó and Vaupés advance in one position.

On the other hand, eight departments registered a fall in their position. In the case of Tolima and Meta, who lost two positions eachwhile Córdoba, Caquetá, La Guajira, Putumayo, Amazonas and Guainía fell one position.

«With this edition of the IDC we wanted to recognize local initiatives that have shown successes in public policy. Thus, we give recognition to three departments: Arauca with the greatest progress in the general ranking, Bolívar with the best public policy in educationand Vaupés with the prize for the effort for competitiveness”, said Alejandro Cheyne, rector of the Universidad del Rosario.

The CPC and the Universidad del Rosario concluded that the results produced by the IDC are consistent with different indicators associated with the level of well-being and the growth of the departments. On average, the GDP of the five departments that lead the overall ranking is almost four times greater than that of the departments that are at the bottom.

likewise competitiveness is associated with quality of life and the level of poverty of the people. The most competitive departments present lower rates of multidimensional poverty, while when contrasting with the self-perception of health that people have, there is a positive confirmation between the competitive level of the territories and the percentage of the population that perceives itself to be in very good health.

good practices in institutions

Bogotá, Risaralda and Quindío lead the pillar of institutions. The capital city stands out in the indicators of resource management, digital government index for the State, digital government index for society, recruitment processes in Secop II and productivity of the judges, in which he obtains a score of 10/10.

Vaupés obtained an outstanding performance in this matter, moving up seven positions. In contrast to the 2022 recalculation, the department presented an increase of 22 positions in the saving capacity indicator, 20 positions in royalty management and nine in the indicator of transparency in the use of royalties.


The infrastructure pillar is also led by Bogotá and the departments of Boyacá and Atlántico; however, the rise of six positions in Valle del Cauca is notable, as well as four positions in the departments of Caldas and Nariño.

The good results in the indicators of aqueduct, natural gas and sewerage coverage; passengers mobilized by air and air connectivity indexallow Bogotá to lead the list again.

In second place is the department of Boyacá, which stands out in four indicators with scores higher than 8.5 out of 10. These are coverage of natural gas and electricitycost of ground transportation in the domestic market and customs.

In third place is Atlántico, standing out in the indicators of aqueduct, natural gas and electricity coverage, as well as in the percentage of primary roads in good condition, in which it reaches scores above 9 out of 10.

Additionally, the good performance presented by Cauca’s Valleywhich rose six positions in this pillar due to its rise of 16 places in the percentage of primary roads in good condition indicator.

(Also read: Government reveals ambitious infrastructure plan for more than $84.8 billion)

Third Lane Bogotá-Girardot

business environment

In the business environment, the departments that lead the ranking are Bogotá (9.89 points), the San Andrés Archipelago (7.76 points) and Antioquia (7.27 percent).

Bogota got a perfect score
in four of the six indicators that make up the pillar: facilitation of procedures, concentration in the secondary sector, business density, and participation of medium and large companies. In addition, it occupies the second position in business registration rate.

The San Andrés Archipelago is second in the business dynamics sub-pillar because it has its best performance in business registration rate indicators, where it obtained a perfect score, and in business density, in which it occupies second place in the ranking with a score of 9.85 out of 10 points.

On the other hand, Guaviare was the department that advanced the most positions compared to the recalculation of 2022 (14 positions in total). This is due to the rise in the indicators of concentration in the tertiary sector (out of six positions), concentration in the secondary sector, and participation of medium and large companies (from one position in each).

working market

In the first three positions are Bogotá (7.93 points), Guaviare (7.39 points) and Cundinamarca (6.85 points). The capital of the country stands out in the performance of the labor market and talent utilization. Additionally, he is first nationally in vulnerable employment, where he earned a perfect score of 10.

For his part, Guaviare it stands out in the indicators of global participation rate and gap in labor participation between men and women, in which it obtained a score of 10.

Meanwhile, Arauca registers a significant advance of ten positions in the rankingthanks to an improvement of 21 positions in the global participation rate indicator and 19 positions in the underemployment rate.

Finance system

Bogotá occupies the first position in all the indicators that make up the pillar of the financial system, with a perfect grade. Meanwhile, Antioquia occupies the second position and stands out in insurance coverage and financial depth index of the commercial portfolio.

Caldas registers a rise of three positions in the ranking due to its progress in coverage of financial establishments. In this indicator, it is ranked 20th, with a score of 3.61 out of 10.

The challenges of the regions to improve their competitiveness

The Departmental Competitiveness Index poses several challenges that must be overcome in the different regions of the country to improve their competitiveness indicators. For example, although the region of Amazonia faces pervasive challenges in almost all measurement pillarsOutstanding performance is observed in the pillars of environmental sustainability and the labor market.

On the other hand, the Central regions and the Eje Cafetero and Antioquia present opportunities for improvement in the labor market and environmental sustainability. Something similar occurs in the Caribbean, where important challenges in the financial system and innovation are also added.

This is an index that allows us to show with some precision where we have the greatest lags

Finally, although the region of Llanos and Orinoquia has a good performance in the labor market, it still presents a significant lag in higher education and job training. In the case of the Pacific region, much of its low competitive performance is related to gaps in innovation.

“I don’t think it’s unrealistic to think that we’re going to close the gaps between the best and the worst, but I do think that for certain absolute scores we should focus as a society so that these departments have a chance to the people who live there improve their living conditions and those of their families,» said Ana Fernanda Maiguashca, president of the Private Competitiveness Council.

Likewise, he stated that in the regions there is capacity, products and services that can be inserted in global trade chains; however, it is necessary «to have the firm intention that it be done in a significant way, where there are differentiation factors that allow people to have premiums in their prices, the possibility of evolving and scaling and, therefore, overcoming poverty and accompany all the fabric and development of their communities».

«This is an index that allows us to demonstrate with some precision where we have the greatest lags and the elements of concern and thus guide public and productive action, to overcome certain barriers that in some areas of the country they continue to be very complex,” added Maiguashca.

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