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February 2012

February 1, 2012

U.S. Department Of Labor Press Release

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today met with Colombia Minister of Labor Rafael Pardo to discuss Colombia's recent achievements in protecting workers' rights and to address the challenges that remain. She highlighted the ongoing technical cooperation between the U.S. Department of Labor and Colombia's Labor Ministry, and announced the award of a $2 million grant to the International Labour Organization to develop a robust presence in Colombia.

February 1, 2012

International Business Times

As Valentine's Day looms, Colombian flower growers are preparing for their busiest time of year. Farmers in the South American country are gathering, picking and packing rose and other flower consignments to export to the US and other global markets, including the UK.

February 1, 2012

Platts

The governments of Colombia and Ecuador announced an agreement Tuesday to study the feasibility of developing geothermal electric power in a remote border area dotted with three active volcanoes.

February 1, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombia has met labor protection obligations associated with the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States, the country's labor minister said Tuesday. The remarks were made by Labour Minister Rafael Pardo, during a four-day trip to the U.S., where he is reviewing the nine-month-old labor "action plan," introduced to bring Colombian labour standards in to compliance with the FTA.

February 2, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombian children and teenagers will no longer have to pay tuition for primary and secondary education, President Juan Manuel Santos announced Wednesday. According to the president, some 8.6 million children will benefit from the government's Free Education Policy and will be able to attend school until graduation without having to pay intuition.

February 1, 2012

Colombia Reports

US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis met with Colombia Minister of Labor Rafael Pardo and announced a $2 million grant for the International Labor Organization (ILO) to assist with the Labor Action Plan, in a press release, Wednesday. The ILO is a is a UN agency whose responsibilities include creating and overseeing international labor standards.

February 1, 2012

Wall Street Journal

Colombia said Wednesday its consolidated budget deficit, which includes the central and regional governments as well as state-owned enterprises, was 2.2% of gross domestic product in 2011, an improvement from the government's own forecast in December of 2.9% of GDP. A statement from the Finance Ministry said the central government deficit was 2.9% of GDP, compared with an earlier forecast of 3.2% of GDP.

February 2, 2012

Colombia Reports

The Netherlands government has pledged $2.4 million to the Colombian banana sector in the form of a public-private partnership, which could be replicated for the coffee and flower sectors, reported newspaper El Colombiano Thursday.

February 2, 2012

Colombia Reports

A photography exhibition at Medellin's Museum of Antioquia drew a huge crowd on its opening night Wednesday. The event, "A History of Colombia through Photography 1842-2010," was so popular that some latecomers were unable to enter the auditorium for the introductory presentation.

February 6, 2012

Colombia Reports

Cartagena could become Latin America's hottest tourist destination for the rich and famous, according to the newspaper El Tiempo. This year Cartagena was a big hit at the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), held every year in Cannes, France.

February 5, 2012

Bloomberg

Colombian central bank chief Jose Dario Uribe says that without recent increases in the nation’s benchmark rate, the pace of economic growth would be unsustainable, El Tiempo reported, citing an interview. Colombia “hasn’t seen a major impact” on its exports from the crisis in Europe and other developed countries, Uribe told the newspaper.

February 5, 2012

Associated Press

An eight-nation bloc of Latin American and Caribbean countries agreed on Sunday to deposit 1 percent of their international reserves into a jointly administered development bank as they seek to deepen economic cooperation. Officials announced the decision as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hosted leaders of the Bolivarian Alliance bloc, or ALBA, at a meeting in Caracas.

February 3, 2012

Bloomberg

Colombia’s central bank said it will start a three-month program of dollar purchases after the peso strengthened to a five-month high today. Banco de la Republica will buy $20 million a day in auctions for three months starting from Feb. 6 to boost the Andean nation’s levels of international reserves, according to a statement published today on its website.

February 7, 2012

Sunshine State News

Following four foreign missions last year, and with trips in the works for Spain and the United Kingdom, Enterprise Florida is now setting up plans for a Gov. Rick Scott-led trade mission to Colombia, one of the state’s largest trading partners.

February 6, 2012

Colombia Reports

The Colombian government plans to implement an electronic voting system for the 2014 elections, reports newspaper Vanguardia. Government officials made the announcement in collaboration with the Interior Ministry Sunday.

February 6, 2012

Colombia Reports

The United States has imported 500 million Colombian flowers for St Valentines Day, which producers hope will revive their fortunes, reported Radio Caracol Monday. The figure was given by President of Asocolflores Augusto Solano, who was being interviewed ahead of the last Valentines shipment, due to leave Colombia within 24 hours

February 5, 2012

Colombia Travel Blog (Infographic)

They say pictures speak a thousand words, and we believe it to be true! Today the Colombia Travel Blog is very proud to announce a new series of Infographics conceptualized and written by JL, Paul and Ryan and brilliantly designed and executed by our own Alejandra (@alejandrawings). We want to ask our readers and Colombia believers to please help us spread the good word about Colombia by sharing the following image as much as you can to get across in a simple way what people are missing by not coming to Colombia.  

February 7, 2012

Florida Independent

Gov. Rick Scott will travel on an international trade mission to Colombia at the end of 2012, Sunshine State News reports today. The site writes that “Enterprise Florida is now setting up plans for a Gov. Rick Scott-led trade mission to Colombia, one of the state’s largest trading partners” and adds that “no formal announcement for the end-of-year trip to South America has been made.” It points out that “Colombia, with $7.6 billion in merchandise trade for Florida in 2011, ranks third in terms of Florida trade.”

February 9, 2012

Reuters

Colombia may see as much as $16 billion in foreign direct investment this year, up from nearly $15 billion last year, Trade Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados said.

February 9, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombia's Constitutional Court has broadened the definition of a victim under the 2011 Victims Law, reported local media. …The Colombian Constitutional Court extended the definition of victims covered by this law Tuesday to include victims' relatives of the third degree of kinship -- relations such as nieces and nephews, grandparents and grandchildren, cousins and in some cases even friends.

February 9, 2012

Colombia Reports

The Colombian government has signed a $1 million deal with the Discovery Channel to make programs for its citizens. The agreement, signed at the presidential palace, will see the government and the channel come together to jointly produce content for a Colombian audience.

February 9, 2012

Sunshine State News

Meanwhile, seeking to again have more than $100 million set aside by the Legislature for ports in the next fiscal year, Ray said his strategic plan, which will be released in the next few days, will link manufacturing fields with transportation that can quickly speed cargo between the highways and rail lines with the ports. “If you don’t have making it, mining it or growing it as a component of your economy, you don’t have a future, you don’t have stability,” Ray said. “Somewhere along the line, we decided we were going to be a service economy.”’

February 9, 2012

Sunshine State News

Gabriel Silva, Colombia's ambassador to the United States, says he expects to see rapid growth in exports from Florida due to the free trade agreement between the countries during the Florida Chamber of Commerce's International Days at Florida State University on Feb. 8, 2012.

February 13, 2012

Reuters

Colombia's central bank chief Jose Dario Uribe said on Monday that the economy likely grew between 5.6 percent and 6.0 percent in 2011, up from an expansion of 4.3 percent in 2010. 

February 13, 2012

Colombia Reports

Barranquilla's 2012 Carnival, one of Colombia's most important events of the year, takes place from Saturday through Tuesday. This schedule should make sure you don't miss a thing. Rivaled only by Brazil's Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Barranquilla's is one of the largest, most festive and colorful carnivals in the world.

February 13, 2012

Business Report

As night fell at Bogota’s El Dorado airport on Wednesday last week, truck drivers unloaded boxes of roses on to conveyor belts and into refrigerated warehouses, where workers bundled in sweatshirts and reflective vests prepared them for shipment on one of as many as 20 daily flights. The pre-Valentine’s Day ritual, which sends 12 percent of Colombia’s annual flower output abroad in less than two weeks, mostly to the US, is running more smoothly than in past years.

February 12, 2012

Fresh Business Thinking

If love makes the world go round then Colombian flowers are on track to make it spin this Valentine’s Day. More than 500,000,000 Colombian flowers are being shipped to countries around the world to meet the February 14th deadline including over 5 million roses into the UK. That’s enough flowers to go round the world at least 8 times*!!

February 12, 2012

Independent

Declan Ryan's Irelandia has taken a 25 per cent stake in a new Colombian low-cost airline VivaColombia, as he bids to replicate the extraordinary success of Ryanair in Latin America. VivaColombia is set to become the Latin American country's first low-cost airline when it launches in the near future.

February 11, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos joined thousands of protesters in the northwest of Colombia Saturday demanding the return of lands stolen by illegal armed groups. The march, held in the neo-paramilitary stronghold of Uraba, drew according to official figures more than 20,000 people from the departments of Antioquia and Cordoba.

February 14, 2012

GT: Global Trader

Everything, it seems, is coming up roses for the Colombian economy. With Valentine's Day approaching, the South American country, which is one of the world’s biggest exporters of flowers, is blooming in many other sectors too. Colombia exports 450 million flowers for Valentine's Day, accounting for 12% of the $1.24bn annual trade, but there's more than just romance about its rising status on the world stage.

February 14, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombian fashion designers, manufacturers and retailers are coming together for the fourth annual Bogota Fashion Week, starting Wednesday. The three-day event is a major international platform of style and business forColombia's fashion industry, highlighting the latest and hottest trends while showcasing what the country has to offer.

February 14, 2012

Americas Society – Council of the Americas

More than 20,000 people marched in Colombia’s northern region of Necocli on February 11 as a part of a series of government-organized demonstrations to rally support for a new piece of legislation, Colombia’s Victims and Land Restitution Law. Also known as Ley 1448, the law went into effect on January 1, guaranteeing financial compensation and restitution of land for victims of the country’s prolonged armed conflict.

February 13, 2012

Dow Jones

Colombia's benchmark blue-chip index rose Monday, buoyed by gains in U.S. stocks, while the peso strengthened modestly against the dollar. The Colcap index, the benchmark for Colombia's largest publicly traded firms, rose 0.74% Monday to end the day at 1669.47 points. The index is up 6.2% since the start of the year after declining 14% in 2011.

February 15, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombia's Minister of Transportation, German Cardona, announced major infrastructure projects to develop trade routes, reported local media Tuesday. Cardona's announcement was part of a speech he gave in the northern city of Cartagena, celebrating the opening of a new rail line entitled, "The Great Leap 2014." The minister spoke of improving highways, waterways, ports, and airports to lower costs of Colombia's exports and make them more competitive.

February 16, 2012

PGA Tour

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton was quick to show his famous leadership skills on Wednesday during the all-star pro-am for the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship presented by Samsung. Faced with a short, tricky second shot on the par-4 third hole at Country Club de Bogota, Clinton gave his teammates in the Nationwide Tour event a pep talk. Among his playing partners was Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos, forming a rare political golf team.

February 16, 2012

Reuters

Colombia's state oil company, Ecopetrol, said on Wednesday its 2011 net profit rose 85 percent to 15.44 trillion pesos ($8.65 billion) compared with 2010, pushed up by more output and exports. Once seen as a failing state, Colombia began to turn its image around after a 2002 U.S.-backed security crackdown against leftist rebels made the country safer and opened up more areas to oil exploration and production.

February 16, 2012

Bloomberg

Ecopetrol SA (ECOPETL), Colombia’s largest oil company, said fourth-quarter profit jumped 64 percent as production climbed, beating analysts’ estimates. Net income rose to 4.44 trillion pesos ($2.47 billion) from 2.70 trillion pesos in the year earlier period, the Bogota-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. Profit exceeded the average estimate of 4.36-trillion pesos average estimate surveyed by Bloomberg.

February 14, 2012
February 29, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he hopes the U.S.-Colombian Free Trade Agreement (FTA) would take effect before the end of the year. "We support an open skies agreement with the United States that takes effect in January next year at about the time you must enter the Free Trade but I hope that the Treaty enters into force before," Santos told Caracol Radio.

February 29, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombia's Trade and Tourism Minister announces that the price of airline tickets is to fall from April 1, reported Caracol Radio Wednesday. Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados said the fare drop is a result of dropping the fuel surcharge which created a flat rate.

February 29, 2012

Mother Nature Network

For many years, Colombia was basically a no-go zone for tourists. Now, though, the country has completed a 180-degree turn and has become something of a South American success story, drawing investors, tourists and curious travelers who want to experience a place that seemed off-limits for so long.

February 28, 2012

Speaking Globally

One of the great attractions of a climate as mild as Bogota's is its yearlong growing season. Think first days of spring or very early summer or first days of fall in the northern hemisphere and multiply those days by 365 and you get to Bogota year round.

February 16, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombia's coal production jumped 15.4% in 2011 to 85.8 million tonnes versus the previous year while exports rose 16 percent to 79.2 million tonnes, the country's mining regulator said on Thursday. The largest production increases were in the Cesar province where Glencore's Prodeco unit, Drummond International, Vale and Goldman Sachs' local affiliate operate.

February 17, 2012

New York Times

The debut edition of the New Museum Triennial in 2009 was called "Younger Than Jesus," signaling that the show was very much about age: Everyone in it was under 33. The title of the 2012 Triennial,"The Ungovernables," shifts the emphasis to attitude. The artists are not only young, the idea is, but they're also disobedient, mutinous enfants terribles. And it declares its internationalism right away, in the lobby gallery, with work by two collectives, one from Africa, the other from the Middle East, and a single artist, Gabriel Sierra, from Bogota, Colombia.

February 17, 2012

Investor's Business Daily

Colombia is no Brazil. But it may be the next best thing in Latin America, especially when it comes to oil. New oil discoveries and rising production are helping fuel one of the fastest-growing economies in the region. And by some estimates, onshore oil production over the next six years couldnearly double from current levels.

February 29, 2012

Dow Jones

Gap Inc. (GPS) has opened its first stores in Panama and said it plans to expand to Colombia, Uruguay and Peru, as the casual-apparel retailer looks to build up its footprint in Latin America over the next two years. It will also open its first stores in Colombia this year.

February 18, 2012

Science Gobble

Drive Integral Care and Repair Victims of Colombia ensured attention to hundreds of farmers displaced by the rebel FARC actions in the northeast of the country, official sources said today. The Department for Social Prosperity (DPS) indicated that their Service Unit provides support to 225 families displaced by the actions of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in the rural municipality of El Tarra.

February 20, 2012

Dow Jones

Colombia is about to embark on an ambitious overhaul of its tax code to end a series of loopholes and deductions that have spawned what Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry called a preposterous tax system. The overhaul will be a test for the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos and especially for Echeverry, a self-defined supply-side economist with a doctorate from New York University.

February 28, 2012

GSMA

The GSMA today presented the Honorable Minister of Communications for the Republic of Colombia, Diego Molano, with the mobile industry's prestigious annual Government Leadership Award. The award recognises the significant achievements made by the Colombian government in developing the country into one of the major hubs for Latin America, known for its growing economy, competitive business.

February 20, 2012

Colombia Reports

More than 150 displaced farmers received land titles in the north of Colombia Monday in an official ceremony presided by President Juan Manuel Santos. After their displacement more than 10 years ago, farmers from the Middle Magdalena region received more than 2,256 hectares of land with an estimated value of $67 million in what Santos called a mark of the success of the Victims Law that regulates the compensation and land restitution for victims of Colombia's armed conflict.

February 28, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombia's Interior Minister German Vargas said the government will protect those seeking to reclaim land, reported local mediaTuesday. The minister's comments come a day after UN spokesperson Todd Howland said Colombia's Victims and Land Restitution Law had "holes," and those seeking to reclaim land were in danger.

February 28, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombia's Trade and Tourism Minister on Monday presented a report proposing 80 new airline routes which would benefit 15 cities. The proposal in the report "Outlooks to improve air connectivity for Colombian tourism" is to connect cities with a proven need for greater airline activity, with the aim of operating to national and international destinations without having to go through Bogota.

February 27, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombia has increased funding for educational exchange between the US and Colombia, said Fulbright Colombia Friday. This funding increase followed U.S. President Barack Obama's announcement last March of the "100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative," which aims to increase educational exchange between the U.S. and Latin America. However, the American economic and political situation has prevented any increase in funding from the US.

February 20, 2012

Just-Style

In contrast to 2009, when Colombia's textile and apparel exports tumbled by 40% due to a political row with its neighbour and main customer Venezuela, as well as falling international demand due to the global economic crisis, the industry is now feeling bullish. Indeed, 2011 was a relatively good year, especially in the domestic market where textile and clothing consumption increased by 14.6%. In exports, the situation was mixed, with apparel shipments down by 0.9% but textile exports rising by 23.4% in the 11 months from January to November.

February 21, 2012

Dow Jones

The U.S. is working hard to implement free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said Tuesday. Now that the trade pact with South Korea is ready to go into effect in mid- March, "We are working equally diligently with our partners in Panama and Colombia to bring those agreements into force at the same time," Kirk said at a State Department event.

February 27, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Sunday that the United States will continue to support the Free Trade Agreement and Plan Colombia, following a visit from U.S. Officials. Santos made the comments after Chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the U.S. Senate Patrick Leahy visited the Caribbean coastal city of Cartagena along with several U.S. Senators to discuss issues of joint interest between the two countries.

February 27, 2012

Prensa Latina

Colombia is ready to strengthen relations with India after the visit to this capital of Patti Londono, deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, scheduled for March 11-13. In her official stay, Londono will meet with leaders of major corporations and local trade companies with the goal of boosting bilateral exchanges in this sector, the Colombian embassy in the capital told Prensa Latina news agency on Sunday.

February 21, 2012

Latin Business Chronicle

Chile and Colombia were the two Latin American countries that gained the most in trade with the United States last year, according to an analysis by Latin Business Chronicle. Meanwhile, Panama was also among the top four winners.

February 22, 2012

Colombia Reports

Barranquilla authorities said Wednesday that the city's carnival drew more than a million people between Friday and Tuesday. In its final balance of the city's most important cultural event of the year, the Barranquilla police department said that no major incidents took place that were related to the festivities and praised "the increasingly good behavior of the people of Barranquilla which was replicated by the Colombian and international tourists."

February 23, 2012

Reuters (Video)

A Colombian mother-and-daughter company raises butterflies to sell in the U.S. and Europe. Tara Cleary reports.

February 23, 2012

Huffington Post

Looking to travel to an off-the-beaten-path Spring Break destination this year? Then look no further than Colombia. Bogota is just an easy three hour direct flight from Miami, and provides a great starting point to travel through the rest of the country.

February 23, 2012

VTDigger

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is heading a bicameral, bipartisan congressional delegation of four senators and two House members in visits to Cuba, Haiti and Colombia. They leave Washington Wednesday, Feb. 22, during Congress' current recess period, and return five days later.

February 23, 2012

VTDigger

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is heading a bicameral, bipartisan congressional delegation of four senators and two House members in visits to Cuba, Haiti and Colombia. They leave Washington Wednesday, Feb. 22, during Congress' current recess period, and return five days later.

February 24, 2012

FOX Business

 
Colombian airline Easyfly SA, which touts itself as the nation's only low-cost airline, has seen two straight years of profits following its 2007 launch and hopes to become a publicly traded company by early 2014, its president said.

February 23, 2012

Colombis Reports

Colombian officials completed the first stage of a tour of the Asia-Pacific region in order to secure free trade agreements. The Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs Maria Angela Holguin met Japanese officials in Tokyo to consider the possible negotiation of an Economic Partnership Agreement [EPA], Colombian diplomatic sources told the Spanish news agency EFE.

February 21, 2013

Colombia Reports

Colombia on Thursday signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with South Korea in Seoul. The FTA includes a wide range of elements to boost bilateral trade and investment, according to the trade ministry.