June 11, 2015- Press Releases - Colombia to Export Fresh Goldenberries to the U.S. without Quarantine Restrictions   Washington D.C.- Colombia will now be able to export fresh goldenberries with no quarantine restrictions after Ambassador of Colombia to the United States Luis Carlos Villegas and U.S. Under Secretary of Agriculture Edward Avalos signed the Operative Work Plan (OWP) as honorary witnesses.   The signing of the OWP represents the termination of a 12-year process, which began in 2003, when the United States authorized the export of goldenberries (known in Europe as Cape gooseberries) from Colombia with a series of restrictions designed to prevent the risk associated with the Mediterranean fruit fly. Those restrictions increased the cost of goldenberries, reduced their quality and hampered logistics by limiting entry to only two ports in the United States. As a result of the OWP, the goldenberries can now be exported to any port in the United States, without the need for cold quarantine treatment. It is estimated that the new measure represents a 40 percent reduction in the cost of exporting fruit to the U.S. market.   The Ministry of Trade, ProColombia, El Fondo Nacional de Fomento Hortofrutícola and the Embassy of Colombia in the United States have supported the implementation of the OWP by the ICA APHIS and ANALDEX, which will benefit the total production of gooseberries in the Colombian departments (states) of Cundinamarca and Boyacá, and will guarantee the jobs of more than 46,000 Colombians who work in the cultivation of this super fruit.   “The signing of this plan is another step in strengthening bilateral relations and realizing the benefits of the bilateral Free Trade Agreement ” said Ambassador Villegas. “Between 2013 and 2014, with quarantine restrictions, goldenberry exports from Colombia to the United States grew by 121 percent. With the signing of this agreement, we expect this growth to further multiply. Goldenberries represent the first of many Colombian agricultural products that will have access to the U.S. market in the coming years, such as the Hass avocado, peppers, melon, watermelon and mango, among others.”
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According to a new study that compares startup activity and attitudes in 44 countries across the globe, Colombia emerged as a strong leader in entrepreneurship and investment opportunity.

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June 28, 2015- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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Luis Carlos Villegas, Colombia's ambassador to the U.S., passed through Philadelphia recently and granted an audience. 

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June 25, 2015- Press Releases - Doris Salcedo exhibirá su trabajo en el  Museo Solomon R. Guggenheim de Nueva York   Washington, DC — Doris Salcedo, escultora colombiana reconocida mundialmente, expondrá su trabajo en el Museo Solomon R. Guggenheim de Nueva York, en una exhibición que ocupará 4 niveles de las Tower Galleries. La exhibición será inaugurada este jueves 25 de junio y permanecerá abierta al público hasta el 14 de octubre de este año.    Esta exhibición, que forma parte de la agenda cultural de la Embajada de Colombia en Estados Unidos dentro del Plan de Promoción de Colombia en el Exterior coordinado por el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, es una retrospectiva que reúne obras de la artista desde 1980 hasta sus más recientes creaciones y está acompañada de un video documental que muestra sus proyectos y aportes arquitectónicos.   Doris Salcedo nació en 1958 en Bogotá, ciudad en la que actualmente reside. Tiene un BFA de la Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano de Bogotá y una maestría de la Universidad de Nueva York. Salcedo es una de las escultoras más reconocidas de su generación, y sus obras han sido parte de numerosas exposiciones alrededor del mundo en espacios como el Carnegie Museum de Pittsburgh; Roteiros, XXIV Bienal de São Paulo; Trace, la Bienal de Arte Contemporáneo de Liverpool y la 8ª Bienal Internacional de Estambul. Salcedo fue invitada a producir una instalación en el Tate Modern de Londres en 2007, donde creo una de sus más importantes obras contemporáneas, Shibboleth, una “escultura subterránea" que desde entonces ha viajado a museos en México, Brasil, Italia, Portugal, Suecia y Japón, representando, por medio de una grieta de 167 metros, la segregación social y la falta de humanidad que se vive en la actualidad.   En reconocimiento de su trabajo, la escultora colombiana ha recibido el 9º Premio de Arte de Hiroshima en 2014, el Premio Ordway de la Fundación Penny McCall en 2005 y el Solomon R. Guggenheim Fundación Grant en 1995.   El trabajo de Doris Salcedo fue exhibido con  gran éxito en el Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) en Chicago de febrero a mayo de este año. Su próxima exhibición en Estados Unidos estará abierta al público de mayo a septiembre del próximo año en el Perez Art Museum de Miami.   (Fin).   
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June 8, 2015- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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May 21, 2015- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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May 21, 2015- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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The relationship between the United States and Colombia has been growing since a free trade agreement went into effect three years ago, but trade officials say more can be done from a local perspective.

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The relationship between the United States and Colombia has been growing since a free trade agreement went into effect three years ago, but trade officials say more can be done from a local perspective.

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When you wander around Medellin and mention to city officials and entrepreneurs that you are touring now-very-dead drug kingpin Pablo Escobar’s grave and other points of interest related to the city’s dark history, they tend to wince because they are now very much focused on “the transformation.” Indeed, Colombia’s second-largest city has undergone what appears to be a near-miraculous transition. 

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When you wander around Medellin and mention to city officials and entrepreneurs that you are touring now-very-dead drug kingpin Pablo Escobar’s grave and other points of interest related to the city’s dark history, they tend to wince because they are now very much focused on “the transformation.” Indeed, Colombia’s second-largest city has undergone what appears to be a near-miraculous transition. 

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When you wander around Medellin and mention to city officials and entrepreneurs that you are touring now-very-dead drug kingpin Pablo Escobar’s grave and other points of interest related to the city’s dark history, they tend to wince because they are now very much focused on “the transformation.” Indeed, Colombia’s second-largest city has undergone what appears to be a near-miraculous transition. 

» Read More

When you wander around Medellin and mention to city officials and entrepreneurs that you are touring now-very-dead drug kingpin Pablo Escobar’s grave and other points of interest related to the city’s dark history, they tend to wince because they are now very much focused on “the transformation.” Indeed, Colombia’s second-largest city has undergone what appears to be a near-miraculous transition. 

» Read More

When you wander around Medellin and mention to city officials and entrepreneurs that you are touring now-very-dead drug kingpin Pablo Escobar’s grave and other points of interest related to the city’s dark history, they tend to wince because they are now very much focused on “the transformation.” Indeed, Colombia’s second-largest city has undergone what appears to be a near-miraculous transition. 

» Read More

When you wander around Medellin and mention to city officials and entrepreneurs that you are touring now-very-dead drug kingpin Pablo Escobar’s grave and other points of interest related to the city’s dark history, they tend to wince because they are now very much focused on “the transformation.” Indeed, Colombia’s second-largest city has undergone what appears to be a near-miraculous transition. 

» Read More

When you wander around Medellin and mention to city officials and entrepreneurs that you are touring now-very-dead drug kingpin Pablo Escobar’s grave and other points of interest related to the city’s dark history, they tend to wince because they are now very much focused on “the transformation.” Indeed, Colombia’s second-largest city has undergone what appears to be a near-miraculous transition. 

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May 13, 2015- News Clips - 36 Hours in Medellín, Colombia

Colombia’s second city is fast shedding its controversial reputation. With infrastructure projects that are bringing architecturally exciting libraries and parks to impoverished neighborhoods, and creative methods of transportation, Medellín is one of the most progressive cities in Latin America. 

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May 4, 2015- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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May 4, 2015- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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April 27, 2015- Press Releases - Delegaciones de Colombia y Estados Unidos se reunirán en Bogotá para el V Diálogo de Alto Nivel   Washington D.C. – El lunes 27 de abril tendrá lugar el V Diálogo de Alto Nivel Colombia – Estados Unidos (DAN) en el Palacio San Carlos en Bogotá, liderado por la Canciller María Ángela Holguín y el Secretario de Estado Adjunto de los Estados Unidos, Antony Blinken.   La delegación estadounidense contará con la participación de Avril Hanes, Consejera Adjunta de Seguridad Nacional; Mark Feierstein, Administrador Adjunto de USAID; Sarah Sewall, Subsecretaria de Estado; Ricardo Zúñiga, Director para el Hemisferio Occidental del Consejo de Seguridad Nacional; Rebecca Chavez, Subsecretaria Adjunta de Defensa y el Embajador de Estados Unidos en Colombia, Kevin Whitaker, entre otros   Por su lado, Colombia contará con la participación de representantes de la Presidencia de la República, los Ministerios de Relaciones Exteriores, Comercio Industria y Turismo, TICs, Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural, Justicia y Educación y el Embajador de Colombia en Estados Unidos, Luis Carlos Villegas, entre otros.    A través de este diálogo, Colombia y Estados Unidos continuarán fortaleciendo la relación bilateral y el desarrollo de una agenda de cooperación diversa en mesas de trabajo sobre temas como la ampliación de oportunidades económicas y sociales, el trabajo conjunto en energía, medio ambiente, educación, democracia, buen gobierno y derechos humanos.   
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March 24, 2015- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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The recently appointed U.S. special envoy to Colombian peace talks met with government and rebel negotiators for the first time on Sunday, holding separate sessions with each side, a Colombian government official said. President Barack Obama named veteran diplomat Bernard Aronson as special envoy on Feb. 20. It was Washington's second major engagement with Latin America after reversing longstanding Cuba policy on Dec. 17, agreeing to restore diplomatic ties and end half a century of confrontation with the communist-led island.

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Colombia plans to boost capacity at its main airport in Bogota by as much as 50 percent over the next two years, to ease delays and overcrowding amid a surge in international travel. The Andean nation grew at the fastest pace among major Latin American economies last year, boosting Colombians’ demand for tourism and business travel. At the same time, the number of foreigners arriving rose 11 percent as violence levels fell to a three-decade low.

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A report issued Feb. 1 by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service found: Colombia grows 20,000 acres of flowers. Around 17,500 acres are cultivated under greenhouse conditions while the remaining 2,500 acres are produced outdoors, under rain-fed conditions.

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Paulina Vega is the first Colombian beauty queen to don the Miss Universe crown in 56 years, and she said she hopes to help her home country during her reign. The Barranquilla-born business student stopped by HuffPost Live on Friday to chat about her win and more. After the segment, Vega, 22, spoke to The Huffington Post about her desire to visit Colombia during her year as Miss Universe and what causes she’d like to help out with there.

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Miss Colombia, Paulina Vega, was crowned Miss Universe on Sunday night, while Miss USA, Nia Sanchez, came in second. The other finalists, chosen from among 88 contestants, were Miss Jamaica, Kaci Fennell; Miss Ukraine, Diana Harkusha; and Miss Netherlands, Yasmin Verheijen.

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Colombia has much to brag about — cutting poverty by half, doubling international air connections and quadrupling the size of its economy since 2000  — but these are just byproducts of its crowning achievement over the last two decades: defeating organized crime with the help of the United States, the country’s ambassador said in Atlanta.

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… Tourism is also rising, and the government has adopted the phrase “magical realism” to promote it (see colombia.travel/en). Magical realism is usually associated with the literature of Colombia’s pre-eminent writer, the late Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But it also describes what I saw here, including pink dolphins in the Amazon.

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg traveled to Colombia on Wednesday to bring his global Internet-access initiative to Latin America. In an event with President Juan Manuel Santos, the billionaire explained how even low-end mobile phone users in Colombia will now be able to access for free a limited number of websites thanks to a partnership with a local cellular phone provider, Tigo.

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