Country Listing

Colombia Table of Contents


Parastatal Management

The government's role in the economy also included the creation and operation of state enterprises through either direct ownership of companies or the establishment of joint ventures with private firms. These enterprises, often referred to as parastatals, enabled the state to ensure that policy goals were being met for the welfare of the country. Analysts estimated that by the late 1980s, the value of total public sector ownership and control of economic assets had reached 13 percent of GDP.

State involvement in economic management of parastatals dated back to the 1930s and represented some of the earliest attempts at development planning. Financial organizations were the oldest type of parastatal, founded to create a credit market for sectors-- especially housing, railroads, and agriculture--that needed additional capital. Notable among the earliest such financial institutions were the Agricultural Mortgage Bank (Banco Agrícola Hipotecario), the Agrarian Bank (Caja de Crédito Agraria), the Central Mortgage Bank (Banco Central Hipotecario), and the Land Credit Institute (Instituto de Crédito Territorial). In the 1950s and 1960s, the government created nonfinancial parastatals encompassing numerous agricultural commercial and industrial entities, such as the Colombian Institute of Agrarian Reform (Instituto Colombiano de Reforma Agraria--Incora), the Colombian Coal Company (Carbones de Colombia--Carbocol), the National Federation of Colombian Coffee Growers (Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia--Fedecafe), and the Colombian Automotive Company (Compañía Colombiana Automotriz).

Data as of December 1988