Bogotá is the capital of the Republic of Colombia, and houses the national legislature, the Supreme Court of Justice, and the center of the executive administration as well as the residence of the President of the Republic. The Principal Mayor and District Council – both elected by popular vote – are responsible for city administration. The city divided into 20 localities: Usaquén, Chapinero, Santa Fe, San Cristóbal, Usme, Tunjuelito, Bosa, Kennedy, Fontibón, Engativá, Suba, Barrios Unidos, Teusaquillo, Los Mártires, Antonio Nariño, Puente Aranda, La Candelaria, Rafael Uribe Uribe, Ciudad Bolívar, Sumapáz. Each of the 20 localities is governed by an administrative board elected by popular vote, made up of no less than seven members, as determined by the District Council. The Principal Mayor designates local mayors from a trio proposed by the respective administrative board.
Bogotá is Colombia’s largest economic center, followed by Medellín, Cali, and Barranquilla. Most companies in Colombia have their headquarters in Bogotá (for example, Bavaria, Avianca), and it is home to most foreign companies doing businesses in Colombia and neighbouring countries as well as Colombia’s main stock market. Bogotá is a major center for import and export of goods for Colombia and the Andean Community in Latin America.
Manufacturing, commerce and trade
Bogotá is the center of Colombian business. It has a busy banking, insurance sector, and a Stock exchange. Engineering firms provide services for many regions of Colombia and Central America. Bogotá houses the central governmental institutions and military headquarters. It is the centre of the telecommunications network and has the biggest industrial facilities in the country. Public services include energy, sewer and phones. Energy and sewer bills are stratified based on the location of owner’s residence, with the intended purpose that wealthier sections of society subsidize the energy bills of the poorer sections of society. Telephone service is provided by both “Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogotá” (ETB), a city-owned company, and “Capitel”, owned by Colombia Telecomunicaciones and “EPM Bogotá”, owned in turn by the Medellín public services company (Empresas Públicas de Medellín - EPM) . Coin or card-operated payphones are also available, along with cell phone providers. There are (as of May 2007) three main operators of wireless phones: Movistar (owned by Spanish firm Telefónica), Comcel (owned by Telmex) and Tigo (co-owned by ETB, EPM and Millicom). Bogotá also receives money from exports like flowers and emeralds. In downtown Bogotá, millions of dollars in domestically produced rough and cut emeralds are bought and sold daily. Other important industries include financial services, especially banking. Bogotá is headquarters to major commercial banks, and to the Banco de la República, Colombia’s central bank. Bogotá is also a printing and publishing centre. The city is a major convention destination with many major convention centres: Centro Ferial de Convenciones Corferias, Centro de Convenciones y Eventos Cafam, Centro de Convenciones Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, among others. Because of its status as site of the country’s capital, it is home to a number of government agencies, which represent another major component of the city’s economy. The city’s industrial base include staples of the Colombian economy such as GM Colmotores, Compañía Colombiana Automotriz, and Ecopetrol.