The Colombian Chamber of Construction (CAMACOL) is a not-for-profit trade association, that was established in the city of Medellín on September 14, 1957. It brings together companies and individuals related to the construction industry throughout the country.
More than 1,400 affiliates grouped into three categories:
- Builders, real estate developers, contractors, and consultants: companies and independent professionals dedicated to the construction, promotion, management, and sales thereof.
- Financial entities, trust funds and others: are those financial entities that are linked to the construction sector.
- Industrialists and traders: companies responsible for the manufacturing inputs of the sector, as well as companies and independent professionals who market the final construction inputs.
To represent and articulate the value chain of the Construction, boost its competitive development, and progress of Colombia.
Leading responsible and sustainable urban development, reducing the housing deficit and projecting the sector towards new business opportunities and new markets.
It has been recorded that Camacol was created when operators of the sector realized that the results and expectations about their future did not have a favorable response. Colombian construction in the mid-1950’s was beset by problems such as lack of recognition, competition from foreign firms, and difficult general economic conditions. Thus, in June 1957, Alberto Vásquez Restrepo, Juan Parra Pérez and Bernardo Naranjo met in Medellín to start an open conversation that would address the problem of government policies in public procurement. With Jorge Pérez Romero, then Manager of Engineering and Construction, an invitation was made on June 10 to his colleagues in Medellín to “promote a movement among all the construction professionals tending to seek their grouping in a national association that as entity representative of them to face and resolve in a permanent and permanent manner all the problems of the guild of constructors and strive by all means within their reach for the technical and economic improvement of its members.
The meeting of the Antioquian builders was completed on June 14 when, without knowing it, the College of Engineers and Architects and ACIC were working in Bogotá to promote a new organization that, as in Venezuela, bring together manufacturers and manufacturers of materials for construction in an economic sector “as important as ANDI or even greater” and to be able to provide new services such as the newly found family compensation funds, according to José Gómez Pinzón, at the end of July.
With that in mind, the Colombian Chamber of Construction was established in Medellín on September 14, to group “not only the construction houses but also the industries that produce construction materials and all their derivatives”. Its first Board then decided to convene the first National Convention of Builders to meet between October 10 and 12 and discuss “in a national environment all the problems that afflict the construction industry in Colombia, and seek a unique grouping”. It was agreed that the headquarters of the national organization should be located in Bogotá and it was indicated in the letters of convocation that the Chambers of Construction in each department will automatically operate under the same regulations and national statutes.
The Convention was fully successful. Divided into working groups, it addressed urgent issues at that time and, significantly, of later relevance. General affairs was very important in the operation of the chambers in the different cities, with the incorporation of the industrialists and the founding of subsidized family funds. In terms of professional defense and legislation, issues were discussed such as the need for general rules for submitting proposals in tenders, control of the illegal exercise of the profession and labor legislation for this industry.
In order to “increase the construction industry”, new financing systems for road works, the role of foreign companies in the country, measures to promote new housing, and credit for the construction industry were being studied. Prominent efficiency in the activity through training of the workforce, constructive systems, equipment and organization of work was prominent.
The recommendations of the Congress reiterated issues such as price adjustment in contracts, taxation on professional income, rules for charge sheets, tenders and contracts, new financial institutions for industry, standardization of materials, equal treatment of Colombian firms in front of international companies and regulation of horizontal property.