By: Carolina Vera Matiz
COLOMBIA BECOMES AN OECD MEMBER COUNTRY
Last May 2018 the Commercial Issues Committee endorsed the Colombia affiliation to the Organization for Economic and Cooperation Development, which means that Colombia becomes Member No. 37 of the Organization, and it is the third Latin American country accepted as a member after Mexico and Chile.
The path that Colombia covered to attain the access to the so called good practices club took about seven (7) years and one of the hardest tests to face with was the issue of patents protection.
Finally, and after complying with several types of requirements, Colombian proved that its system of patentability is well robust and reliable, which grants an additional security to those who are interested in making investments in our country.
The advantages to be a state member of OECD include:
- The commitment of devising front line policies aimed at enhancing both the social welfare and the economical standing of its people.
- Safety for the abroad origin investments
- Visibility within the international realm
- Possibility of entering into agreements and strategic alliances at the inter-governmental and corporate levels towards the optimization of business within the country.
- A stricter control over tax evasion.
In coherence with the Ministry of Affairs data, “Colombia ranks in the third (3rd) spot of the principal Latin America countries to receive foreign investments, after Brazil”.
In addition, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism points out that: the general balance of the tourism sector in Colombia grew 28% in this mark, as compared to the worldwide general data which grew only 7%.
The growth of investment necessarily increases competition resulting in a stimulus for the research and development of technology which positively affects the flow of patents within all the industry fields. Colombia has properly responded to that stimulus by strengthening the structure of the New Creations Management of the Superintendence of Industry and Trade.
The examination and time spans required for processing the applications set for granting a patent or for utility models and industrial design matters have been shortened to a large extent at the New Creations Agency.
On the other hand, Colombia has since 2017 been a member of the Patent Prosecution Highway Global, which is an agreement signed by twenty two (22) countries, being the principal goal thereof to reduce the time spent in the patentability process. Besides Colombia, other countries like Spain, Finland, Great Britain, Hungary, Israel, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Singapore, United States of America, Austria, Australia, Canada, Germany, Denmark, and Estonia make part of this agreement.
Being a member of OECD is another proof of the interest that Colombia has of becoming a country for safe investments, which promotes new projects of technological development and innovation.
All the above and mainly the affiliation of Colombia to the Good Practice Club allows us to hold that at present Colombia is now one of the safest and most attractive countries for the alien investments.