About Us India-Colombia

Brief on India-Colombia Bilateral Relations

Colombia and India established diplomatic relations on 19 January 1959 and celebrated 60 years of establishment of diplomatic ties in 2019. In March 1972, Colombia opened its Embassy in New Delhi. India opened its Embassy in Colombia in 1973. Mr. Juan Miguel Yacamán Farah is Honorary Consul of India (appointed in February 2017) in Barranquilla (Atlantico province). Colombia has appointed Honorary Consuls in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Kolkata.

Political relations

2. India and Colombia enjoy friendly and cordial bilateral relations. Over the years, the relationship between the two countries have strengthened and diversified in all areas of mutual interest encompassing political, commercial and cultural fields. Foreign Office Consultations mechanism was established in 1995. The last (9th round) Foreign Office Consultations took place on 7 May 2021 through video conference.

3. President Ram Nath Kovind sent a message of felicitation to President Ivan Duque, after the latter was sworn in as the new President of Colombia on 7 August 2018. Then External Affairs Minister had also sent a message of felicitation to Mr. Carlos Holmes Trujillo, the then Foreign Minister of Colombia. She later met him on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2018. Gen. V.K. Singh, MOS (EA), met Colombian Foreign Minister Mr. Carlos Holmes Trujillo in October 2018 during his visit to Colombia. During the UN General Assembly in 2019, a pull aside meeting was held between our Prime Minister and Colombian President Ivan Duque. Several bilateral visits have taken place between the two countries.

4. On 29 April 2020, a telephonic conversation between EAM and then Colombian Foreign Minister, Ms. Claudia Blum de Barberi was organised. Cooperation in areas of trade, energy and ITEC cooperation was discussed during the conversation.

5. High level bilateral engagements between India and Colombia witnessed an upswing in 2021. Minister of State for External Affairs (MOS- EA), Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi paid an official visit to Colombia from 4-6 September 2021. During the visit, MOS - EA met with Foreign Minister of Colombia and Vice President of Colombia, Ms. Marta Lucia Ramirez, and Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of Colombia, Mr. Tito José Crissien Borrero and held detailed discussions on issues of mutual interest. External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar met with Ms. Marta Lucía Ramírez on 25 September 2021 on the sidelines of UNGA-76 high-level week.

6. A health, science and technology delegation led by Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, Ms. Marta Lucía Ramírez and including Minister of Health and Social Protection of Colombia, Dr. Luiz Fernando Ruiz visited India from 27 September 2021. Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, Ms. Marta Lucía Ramírez arrived in India on 30 September 2021 and met Vice President of India Shri Venkaiah Naidu on 1 October 2021 and exchanged views on strengthening bilateral cooperation. On 2 October 2021, Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar held detailed discussions with Ms. Ramirez. Minister of State for External Affairs, Ms. Meenakashi Lekhi met Ms. Ramirez on 3 October 2021.

7. Shri Saurabh Kumar, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs held bilateral discussions on 25 November 2022 with his counterpart H.E. Mr. Francisco Jose Coy Granados, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia.

8. Finance Minister of Colombia, Mr. Jose Antonio Ocampo participated in the Finance Ministers’ Session, chaired by Honourable Finance Minister of India, held in the framework of Voice of the South Summit on 12 January 2023.

9. External Affairs Minister (EAM), Dr. S. Jaishankar, paid an official visit to Colombia from 25-27 April 2023. This was his first visit to Colombia and also the first visit of an External Affairs Minister from India. EAM met with his counterpart, Foreign Minister of Colombia, H.E. Mr. Alvaro Leyva Duran, on 26 April 2023.

Bilateral Agreements/Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs)

  1. 10. Over the years, several MoUs / Agreements have been concluded between India and Colombia in diverse areas including trade promotion, cooperation in science and technology, defence, IT, tourism, space, health, traditional systems of medicine, culture, etc.

Economic and Commercial Relations

  1. 11. Bilateral trade between India and Colombia had been steadily growing until 2014 and reached approximately USD 4 billion (largely because of oil imports by India from Colombia). However, following the global slump in oil prices, that affected Colombian exports of oil, bilateral trade registered a decline in 2015 and 2016. From 2017, bilateral trade has once again started growing. In the FY 2019-20, bilateral trade was approximately USD 1.85 billion, experiencing a negative growth of approx. 12% over the FY 2018-19, when bilateral trade was USD 2.1 billion. Bilateral trade in 2020-21 stood at USD 2.27 billion, growing by approx. 22% over the trade in 2019-20. In 2021-2022, bilateral trade stood at USD 4.34 billion, increasing by over 50% from that in the preceding period. In 2021-22, exports increased significantly, by 59.1%, to reach USD 1.38 billion. Imports from Colombia to India have seen a surge over the last 3 financial years, due to increasing demand and therefore, of imports, of oil from Colombia. In 2021-22, imports from Colombia stood at USD 2.9 billion. In 2022-23, until January 2023, bilateral trade has stood at USD 3.48 billion. India’s imports from Colombia mainly comprise mineral fuels such as oil and coal, gold, precious stones led by emeralds, aluminum, zinc, wood (teak), plastic etc. India’s main items of exports to Colombia include vehicles (motorcycles etc.), engineering goods, chemicals, cotton, pharmaceuticals, iron & steel products, etc.

Bilateral Investment

12. Colombian investment in India is estimated to be approximately USD 5 million and Indian investment in Colombia is estimated to be USD 300 million (excluding OVL´s investment including in its joint venture with Mansarovar, of a total of approx. USD 1.5 billion). Indian investment in Colombia is mainly in the oil, automobile, agro-chemicals, IT and pharmaceuticals sectors.

13. On 24 April 2020, under the MoU for cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector (2008), India and Colombia organised the first virtual Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas of the Government of India and the Ministry of Mines and Energy of the Government of Colombia.

14. The Mission has been taking several initiatives for promoting bilateral trade and investment. The trade facilitation activities include responding to trade queries, addressing trade disputes, assisting visiting export promotion councils/industry associations in organizing their events [Buyer Seller Meets (BSMs), Reverse BSMs, Roadshows, India Forums, etc.], advising and facilitating meetings for visiting Indian businessmen, encouraging participation of Colombian buyers/importers to major trade events organized in India and vice-versa. The Mission has also taken a proactive approach in promoting Indian exports through meetings with local companies, National Hydro-Carbon Agency, government authorities and other stakeholders to boost bilateral trade and investment between India and Colombia. In 20

15. In the FYs 2020-21, 2021-22, and in the current financial year 2022-23, more than 65 physical and virtual B2B meets and BSMs between Indian delegation led by Indian Export Promotion Councils/chambers of commerce such as AEPC, Pharmexcil, CAPEXIL, SEPC, GJEPC, FIEO, ESEPC, EEPC Indian Chamber of Commerce, Chemexcil, EPCH, Plexconcil, FIEO, SRTEPC, Texprocil, among others, and Colombian chambers of commerce and buyers/ importers were organized in the sector of pharmaceuticals, textiles, gems and jewellery, renewable energy, steel, ceramics, printing and publishing, information technology, services, etc. Delegation of Indian textile companies led by SRTEPC and Texprocil participate in the flagship textile event of Colombia, Colombiatex, including in 2022. Delegation of Indian manufacturers of electronics and electrical goods, construction materials, auto spare parts have participated in flagship fairs of Colombia in 2022 and 2023.

16. To promote tourism and investment, the Mission has organized Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Odisha, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh States’ promotion days, under the state facilitation activities and road shows, business meetings of tour operators from India. Mission has also collaborated with ANATO, the flagship tourism fair of Colombia for promotion of tourism to India.

Indian Companies in Colombia

  1. 17. Indian companies in Colombia are mainly concentrated in the oil, IT, pharmaceutical, agrochemicals, and infrastructure and two-wheeler sectors. ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the only Indian public sector enterprise in Colombia, has both independent operations and a joint venture with Chinese Company Sinopec called Mansarovar Energy Colombia Ltd (MECL).

    1. Technology/ IT/ ITES: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tech Mahindra, Mahindra Comviva, Infosys, Wipro, IGT Services and Technologies Colombia SAS, Quadratyx, TraQIQ, Hinduja Global Solutions, etc.
    2. Pharmaceuticals: IPCA, CIPLA, Aurobindo Pharma, Dr. Reddy´s, MSN Labs
    3. Agrochemicals: United Phosphorus Limited, Sharda Cropchem Ltd
    4. Automobiles and tractors: TVS, Bajaj, Hero, Sonalika, Mahindra, Uno Minda, Royal Enfield
    5. Plastics and Packing: Essel Propack
    6. Infrastructure: Shapoorji Pallonji, Jindal Steel
    7. LEDs: Lighting Havell’s Sylvania

  1. 18. OVL started operations in 2008 and MEL in 2006. While OVL continues both exploration and production of oil in Colombia, MEL operations in Nare contract association terminated in November 2021. Praj industries has constructed ethanol plants in Colombia in the Valle del Cauca region. Thermax Limited has installed biomass boiler for Nestle Colombia in Bugalagrande in Valle de Cauca and supplied pollution control equipment to Ingenio Incauca. It has ongoing projects for supplies of equipment to various Colombian companies. Hero Moto Corp inaugurated its motorcycle plant in Villa Rica (Cauca), near Cali in 2015. Essel Propack set up its packaging factory in the same region in 2016. Bajaj has its main assembly unit in the city of Medellin and a three-wheeler assembly plant in Barranquilla. UPL also has its agrochemicals manufacturing plant in the city of Barranquilla. In August 2021, Royal Enfield announced opening of an assembly plant in Envigado, Antioquia, its second such plant outside India.

Technical and Economic Cooperation

  1. 19. The last ITEC day was celebrated at the Embassy on 29 September 2023, where ITEC alumni, representatives from Ministry of Education and its agency ICETEX and Ministry of Foreign Affairs participated. Under the ITEC programme, 25 schoolteachers have been trained in teaching of English language every year since 2015. In 2018-19, 91 ITEC slots were utilized by Colombia. In 2019-20, the number of ITEC slots for Colombia was increased to 100, out of which 77 slots were utilized. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, ITEC slot utilisation has been low. In FY 2020-21, 23 slots (out of 100) were utilised. In FY 2021-22, 8 slots (out of 100), were utilised. In the current FY 2022-23, 2 slots (out of 100) have been utilised. E-ITEC courses were also offered during the COVID-19 pandemic. Colombian health professionals participated in the e-ITEC programme ‘Managing COVID-19 Pandemic- Experiences and Best Practices of India’ from 11-15 May 2020 and in a related course on 18 April 2020, both of which were organized by PGI Chandigarh.

  1. 20. Past assistance to Colombia includes gifting of a USD 200,000 solar lighting system to Tayrona National Park, Santa Marta, Colombia in December 2002 and deputation of two Indian IT experts, under the ITEC program, from May to July 2002 to advise the local government on IT related policy issues. India donated USD 1 million to Colombia in the wake of country-wide floods and damage to infrastructure in 2010.

  2. 21. The Mission with the intervention of the Ministry with DGFT facilitated the approval of two commercial orders of 9,00,000 Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) tablets from IPCA Laboratories and 1 MT HCQ API from SRINI Pharmaceuticals Ltd. for Colombia. Mission also facilitated approval for multiple orders of Paracetamol for Colombian companies in light of outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

  3. 22. Colombia has annually offered 8 – 9 scholarships for Language Assistants from 2017 – 2020. Another 8 scholarships to tourist guides to learn Spanish in Colombia were offered in 2017 and 2018.
  4. 23. Colombian health professionals participated in the e-ITEC programme ‘Managing COVID-19 Pandemic- Experiences and Best Practices of India’ from 11-15 May 2020 and in a short related course on 18 April 2020; both organized by PGI Chandigarh.

ICCR Scholarships

  1. 24. Colombian students have pursued Indian dance and music studies under the ICCR scholarship scheme in the past. Six Colombian students have so far availed the ICCR scholarship since 2009.

Science and Technology Cooperation

  1. 25. An MoU on cooperation in Science and Technology between India and Colombia was signed on 11 June 2005. The first meeting of Joint Committee, envisaged under the MoU, took place in Colombia in March 2017. A delegation from India comprising scientist Jagdish Chander and Prof. Ramesh Chandra constituted the Committee. During this meeting, a Programme of Cooperation was signed. The Indian delegation visited the Los Andes University of Bogota, where they were shown the research facilities and laboratories. The delegation also visited a bamboo preservation and drying plant in the city of Pereira, a bamboo-boards production factory and the Pereira University of Technology.

  1. 26. On 14 April 2021, the second meeting was held through a video conference between Department of Science (GoI) and Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation took place. Bilateral technical cooperation in areas of frontier technologies including training under the ITEC programme was discussed. Exchange of information on the composition of the delegation of the two sides for organizing the next Joint Committee meeting was also agreed.

  1. 27. An MoU on Bamboo Applications and R&D was signed between India and Colombia in November 2009. Under the MoU, Department of Science Technology - the nodal agency from India side with the National Mission of Bamboo Applications (NMBA) was designated as the partner institute. A Colombian delegation visited India in October 2015 to pursue the implementation of the MOU on bamboo applications. A representative from TERI participated in a workshop on use of Bamboo waste for energy production from 1-5 October 2016.

  1. 28. Colombia is one of the founder members of the NAM S&T Centre in New Delhi. Colombia signed the Centre’s Statute on 4 February 1985 in New York. COLCIENCIAS (the predecessor of Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation) has been representing Colombia as the Focal Point of the NAM S&T Centre. More than 15 scientists from Colombia have participated in the of the activities organised by the NAM S&T Centre with full financial support of the GOI. The NAM S&T Centre also has active cooperation with the Maloka Science Centre, Bogotá and had organized 2nd International Forum and Workshop for Culture of Science, Technology and Innovation in Society and 1st Knowledge Fest from 24-26 March 2004 in Bogotá.

Health Cooperation

  1. 29. India and Colombia signed an MoU for cooperation in Health in 2010. The first Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting in health cooperation was held between India and Colombia on 15 February 2022.

  1. 30. An Indian delegation from Department of Pharmaceuticals visited Cartagena to attend the Annual Health Forum held from 8-10 June 2022. On 11 June, the Embassy also organized meeting between the Indian delegation and Department of Pharmaceuticals of the National University of Colombia to explore potential areas of cooperation with NIPER, Hyderabad in areas of pharmaceuticals education and research.

  1. 31. During the visit of the health, science and technology Mission from Colombia to India in September/October 2021, two Letters of Intent for cooperation in the fields of biotechnology and medical research were signed by the Department of Biotechnology and Indian Council of Medical Research with their Colombian counterparts.

  1. 32. From 1-6 August 2022, a health delegation attended the 7th World Leish Conference held in Cartagena. The delegates made presentation on India’s Union and State Governments’ measures and management strategies for containing vector borne diseases, including Kala Azar.

  1. 33. India and Colombia signed an MoU for cooperation in traditional systems of medicine in October 2018. So far, three Joint Working Group meetings have been held, first in February 2019, second in May 2019 and third in October 2023.

Space cooperation

  1. 34. On 29 November 2018, ISRO successfully launched FACSAT 1 satellite of Colombian Air Force on PSLV-C43/HysIS mission. It was the first ever Colombian Air Force Nanosatellite. This was a historic occasion in India-Colombia relations and received excellent publicity for India’s prowess in the field of space sciences. Two Colombian officers attended training at ISRO facilities in India from October-December 2019 under UNNATI (UNispace Nanosatellite Assembly & Training by ISRO).
  2. 35. During the visit of Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi, MOS (EA) to Colombia in September 2021, an MoU on cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes was signed between the Department of Space (GOI) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Government of Colombia. The first India - Colombia JWG Meeting was held on 7 April 2022. On 16 June 2022, experts from ISRO participated virtually in Geomatic Week, which is organized by Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Colombia and Colombia’s Agustin Codazzi Geographical institute, to showcase India’s prowess in spatial and geospatial technologies and research and offered areas of cooperation to the Colombian authorities.

Defence Cooperation

  1. 36. Mr. Juan Manuel Santos, Defence Minister of Colombia, [who was later the President of Colombia (2010-18) and Nobel Peace Prize winner], visited India from 25-29 November 2007. He met Raksha Mantri, Home Minister, Raksha Udpadan Mantri and Minister of State for External Affairs. He also visited BEL facilities in Hyderabad and HAL and Infosys campus in Bengaluru. Our three service Chiefs also met the Colombian Defence Minister in New Delhi.

  1. 37. India and Colombia signed a Defence Cooperation Agreement in February 2009. Under the Agreement, a Joint Defence Committee (JDC) was established. The first meeting of the JDC was held in Bogota from 7-9 September 2009.

  1. 38. In September 2008, four officers of the Colombian artillery visited the Gun Carriage Factory at Jabalpur to learn about the fabrication of 105mm Howitzer guns. In 2009, the Deputy Chief of the Colombian Air Force, General Fernando Soler Torres participated in AEROINDIA 2009. NDC delegations from India visited Colombia in May 2012 and May 2017.

  1. 39. Colombian and Indian Defence Ministries held three virtual conferences in September 2022 to discuss organising joint exercises in areas of peace keeping operations, counter terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The Colombian side expressed interest in exchange of experiences, knowledge from Indian experience, capacity building measures such as exchange of mobile training teams from India to Colombia, to train instructors of Colombia’s Training Centres for Peace Operators. Colombia has also requested technical visit to the Centre for UNPKF in New Delhi. In addition, the Colombian side has also conveyed its interest in technical assistance and capacity building through tailor made ITEC courses and other programmes for Colombian professionals in the Indian Universities.

Cultural Relations

  1. 40. There is growing interest among Colombians about India’s culture and heritage. The International Day of Yoga (IDY) events have given a further fillip to the popularity of Indian culture. Indian festivals, dances, music, gastronomy, spirituality are of increasing interest to Colombians. Some Colombians, who earlier learnt Indian classical and folk dances in India, are now professional performers.

  1. 41. In April 2023, India and Colombia signed Cultural Exchange Programme 2023-26 during the visit of EAM to Colombia.

  1. 42. Several festivals, performances, exhibitions, and film shows have been organized by the Embassy during the last few years. The Embassy in collaboration with local talent has organized dance performances at various universities during the course of the International weeks held by them. Several visits of troupes from India to Colombia and vice versa have taken place. A festival of India was celebrated in 2019-20, which was well received. The Mission has been celebrating Gandhi Jayanti, Tagore Jayanti, Guru Nanak Jayanti, every year with enthusiastic participation from Colombia.


  1. 43. Yoga is very popular in Colombia and a number of Yoga institutes are engaged in organizing regular yoga classes. Yoga Teacher (TIC) deputed by ICCR had been on the strength of the Mission from January 2016 till June 2020. Using the availability of TIC, the Mission was able to organize lectures/conferences/presentation on Yoga and Indian Culture, yoga classes for general public, diplomatic corps, corporate sector and Embassy officials. The Mission also organized Yoga Instructor Diploma Courses in Externado University and Piloto University. In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mission has been conducting regular online Yoga classes through its Facebook Live Page.

  1. 44. The Mission has been organizing International Day of Yoga (IDY) in several cities of Colombia. Some of these events are organized by the Mission and the remaining in association with yoga institutes and municipalities. Over 10,000 Yoga enthusiasts participate in these events.

Busts Installed

  1. 45. There are two busts of Mahatma Gandhi installed in Bogota, one at CINSET Corner, and the other at Municipal Library at El Tunal. Another bust of Mahatma Gandhi is installed in Medellin. A bust of Rabindranath Tagore has been installed at the Caro y Cuervo Institute in Bogota.

  1. 46. Under AKAM celebrations, a bust of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled on 7 February 2022 in the city of Baranquilla and in University of Tadeo ob 30 January 2023.

Indian Community

  1. 47. The Indian Community comprises of approximately 700-800 members. Majority of them are professionals, employed with IT firms like TCS, Tech Mahindra, etc. Indian Associations, Amigos de la India and Somos Indios are Indian associations, which organize Indian festivals and other cultural activities in which both Indians and Colombians participate.

  1. 48. The Mission has taken several measures for the repatriation and welfare of stranded Indian nationals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. 49. The number of visitors from Colombia to India has been rising over the years. However, there was a decline in the number of visitors from Colombia to India in the light of pandemic.

  1. 50. Website and social media platforms of the Mission (URLs):





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October 2023