Thursday, 4 June 2020

Colombia is becoming Latin America’s brightest star

Following more than half a century of armed conflict, peace is shining a new light on Colombia’s future.

Bogota, Capital City

Following more than half a century of armed conflict, peace is shining a new light on Colombia’s future.

A peace deal reached last November ended a 52-year conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), ushering in a new era of opportunity and prosperity for Colombia. In fact, The Economist named Colombia country of the year in 2016 for “the colossal achievement of making peace.”

Bogota

- paying the bills -

The guerrilla movement had controlled a large swath of the country, but those regions are now blooming with opportunities for business and tourism. Colombia has emerged from the peace agreement as one of great turnaround stories in history, and this bodes well for its economic future and long-term stability.

In fact, the Colombian economy is forecasted to grow 2.3% in 2017, above the 1.1% average for Latin America, according to the International Monetary Fund. Furthermore, the economy is poised to continue growing, driven by much needed development in the post-conflict regions, which span from the Northern Atlantic Coast to the East and Southeast. According to the Colombian government, peace will allow an additional growth between 1.1% and 1.9%.

Medellin, Colombia

These opportunities are attracting foreign investment. The U.S. is already the world’s largest investor in Colombia, having brought $15.5 billion into the country between 2010 and 2016, according to the Colombian Central Bank data. A free-trade agreement between the two countries in place since 2012 has spurred trade as well, with U.S. purchases of Colombian products growing 12% in 2016 from 2012, led by coffee, flowers, honey and sugar, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Colombia’s extensive connections to the rest of the world have also been a powerful incentive for American companies looking to invest abroad. Colombia has 16 free-trade agreements in total, making it an extraordinary platform for exporting goods and services with tax incentives to more than 1.5 billion people around the world. Legal stability, as well as ample logistics and warehousing capacity are added benefits.

- paying the bills -

According to the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, more than 250 U.S. companies are taking advantage of Colombia’s newly created opportunities, including Brinks, Cisco, Citibank, DuPont, ExxonMobil, EY, General Electric, General Motors, IBM, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Pfizer, PricewaterhouseCoopers and 3M.

Medellin, Colombia

Investors are also seeing openings in Colombia’s internal market. The agricultural sector has always been a bright spot, with its coffee and flowers coveted in international markets and a population with ample experience in farming, passed down over the centuries. Now with peace, almost 10 million acres of suitable land have become available to raise cattle and grow vegetables and fruits. Because of its food producing potential, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has named Colombia one of the world’s five food pantries.

Still, the country’s expertise is growing far beyond agriculture. Colombia’s high-tech sector is thriving as the third largest in Latin America, with USD $2.5 billion in annual revenue, according to International Data Corporation, a market research firm. Investors are looking at Colombia as a tech hub for Latin America. With more than 5,000 tech companies and close proximity to the U.S., the country is becoming the hotspot for American tech companies to expand their development capabilities and target sales growth in Latin America, a market of 626 million people.

A whole lot is also coming out of the factories: from auto parts to building materials, fashion clothing to processed food and consumer products. Colombian jeans are making a splash around the world for the fine fit, so too its bathing suits and underwear. Architectural glass, ceramic roof tiles and pharmaceuticals – there’s ample room for foreign investment in manufacturing.

International tourism is another success story. In 2016, foreign visitors reached 5 million in, a 15% increase over the previous year.

- paying the bills --

Cali, Colombia

With the peace deal, a host of new spots have become available for safely visiting like the Lost City high in the mountains of the north, the Amazon rainforest and the Serranía de la Macarena, home to dozens of species of orchids and countless more of plants, plus a rainbow-colored river. Colombia is also home to more than 1,900 bird species, making it the perfect destination for birdwatchers.

One thing is clear, with the return of peace, a prosperous economy and its extraordinary connections to the world, Colombia is on its way to becoming Latin America’s brightest star.

Q Costa Rica
Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

Related Articles

South America ignores Europe and reopens as virus peak nears

(AP) — South American countries on Monday began easing COVID-19 restrictions...

WHO warns Latin American hospitals risk being overwhelmed by Covid-19 crisis

(AFP) The warning from the global health body came as a...

MOST READ

Colombia To Permit International Flights From September 1, Reopens Ticket Sales

Colombia’s Transportation Minister, Angela Orozco, announced last week that Colombia’s airports will reopen to international flights beginning September 1. Domestic flights are expected to resume...

Man fires gun in the middle of San José, one person seriously injured

A 29-year-old man was arrested Wednesday morning for firing a gun in public, in te area of the Coca Cola markt, in downtown San...

Services and products would cost more in July

(QCOSTARICA) Tighten the purse strings, come July we can expect to pay more for rice, bread, beans, the pet products and even to buy...

In Argentina, Covid-19 numbers rise to over 15 thousand cases

(Prensa Latina/Q Costa Rica) With more than 717 new cases, the number of Covid-19 infections in Argentina this Saturday reached more than 15,000, while...

CNE changes protocols for attending to rains amid pandemic

(QCOSTARICA) The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted changes in guidelines the National Emergency Commission (CNE) response with the arrival of the hurricane season, for the...

Journalist: “Right now in Nicaragua the reality is save yourself if you can”

(QCOSTARICA) What's it really like in Nicaragua in these of COVID-19? Ivette Munguía, journalist for Confidencial, answered the question using as an example of...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.