April 23, 2014- News Clips - Business Mission Set to Medellin, Colombia

The Colombian-American Chamber of Commerce in South Florida is organizing a business mission May 27-30 to encourage imports and exports with Medellin, Colombia's second-largest city and home to some 2.4 million people.

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People with a certain degree of auditory dysfunction can now communicate without an interpreter thanks to software developed in Colombia that combines 44,000 words in Spanish with pictures, sound and videos.

 

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April 21, 2014- News Clips - Your Next Long Weekend Escape: Cartagena

Tropical and sultry, its candy-colored colonial houses draped with bougainvillea and its plazas buzzing with fruit vendors and flamboyantly costumed dancers, Cartagena carries a heady whiff of the exotic. Days move to a slower rhythm, while nights are electric with possibility. Horses pull carriages over cobblestone streets, and musicians amble across plazas. It’s worlds away from home.

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Few cities have gone from bust to boom the way Bogota has. 

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… Chicago-based consulting firm A.T. Kearney is predicting the next generation of global cities, based on the speed with which they are catching up to world capitals. The "Emerging Cities Outlook," released Monday, analyzed 34 cities in low- and middle-income countries, measuring development in business activity, innovation and ability to attract people to live there. … Bogota is progressing rapidly toward leading cities in human capital because of improvements in security and stability, respect for the environment and health care, the report says.

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Colombia's economy could grow around 5 percent in 2014, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Monday, more than the official government target of 4.7 percent and above last year's 4.3 percent expansion. "We're going quickly and I hope that if this pace keeps up, the growth figure this year will be around 5 percent," Santos told reporters while commenting on data published on Monday that showed a 2.8 percent pick-up in industrial production in February versus a year earlier and 6.7 percent rise in retail sales.

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Fitch Ratings expects stable growth for the Colombian telecommunications sector over the medium term, given the favorable macroeconomic environment and rising revenues from Internet data traffic. Fitch forecasts that mobile data revenues will continue to increase, representing about 25% of total revenues by 2017, driven by rising smartphone penetration and the rollout of the 4G long-term evolution (LTE) services.

 

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April 9, 2014- News Clips - GeoPark Makes Oil Discovery in Colombia

GeoPark Ltd. reported the successful drilling and testing of the Aruco 1 exploration well on the Llanos Block 34 in the central Llanos basin in Colombia.

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Colombia's tax revenue in the first quarter of 2014 rose 19 percent from the same period last year to 27.35 trillion pesos ($14.24 billion), Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said on Tuesday, helped by higher rates of employment and consumption. The Andean nation's economy grew 4.3 percent in 2013, one of the fastest rates in Latin America.

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… That vision has helped them reach a combined GDP of more than $2tn – or approximately 40 per cent of Latin America’s combined total – earning the Pacific Alliance a place among the world’s 10 largest economies.

 

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The four pension funds that operate in Colombia will invest $12.7 billion in road infrastructure projects over the next seven years, the president of the Colombian pension funds association said on Wednesday.

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The World Bank Board of Directors approved a US$200 million loan today to continue to support the Colombian Institute for Educational Credit and Technical Studies Abroad (ICETEX, in Spanish) and to finance access to higher education for close to 206,000 students from low income families, including native persons, Afro-Colombians and victims of violence.

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In a bid to increase its competitiveness, which has been undermined by the rising value of the peso, Colombia has set aside $8 billion USD to overhaul its road infrastructure. Once completed, the infrastructure program is expected to add 0.7% to Colombia’s GDP, Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas was quoted as saying in an Emerging Markets report.

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March 29, 2014- News Clips - Colombia to Inject Up to $25bn Into Economy

Colombia will embark on a multi-billion dollar package of infrastructure investments next month in a bid to unleash an economic growth spurt, the country’s finance minister has told Emerging Markets. Mauricio Cardenas said that the first package of slightly more than $8bn in 12 roadway projects would be offered in April. Two other packages, one in the second half of this year and another in 2015, will include a similar number of projects and require similar investments.

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March 28, 2014- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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Brazilian investment bank BTG Pactual is strengthening its presence in Latin America, paving the way for broader banking operations in Chile and Colombia. In the next few weeks, BTG Pactual will apply for a banking license in Colombia, where it already operates as a broker-dealer, said Mateus Carneiro, a partner at BTG Pactual responsible for integration in Latin America. It also expects approval from Chilean authorities to operate a local bank before the second half of the year, he said.

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… While United States’ investors have been singing Colombia’s praises for several years, they’ve been primarily focused on two things: the country’s improved security situation and opportunities in energy and mining. But Colombia is also earning a reputation for sound economic policy ­– one that’s helped it weather global economic turbulence better than many of its neighbors.

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Argentina, once the third-strongest economy in the western hemisphere, extended its decades-long decline by ceding the No. 3 spot among Latin American economies to Colombia later this year…

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Sacyr expects to invest around $1.5 billion in road projects in Colombia, the CEO of the Spanish construction company, Manuel Manrique, said at the end of a visit to the South American country. Sacyr views Colombia as a country that offers opportunities and is a "key to its international growth process," Manrique said in a statement. "We see Colombia as a totally attractive country for foreign investment and strongly believe that our participation in the different  infrastructure sectors will bring innovation, development and the best practices to the market," the Sacyr CEO said.

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Colombia's economy grew 4.3 percent in 2013, one of the fastest rates in Latin America, beating market expectations on momentum driven by nearly a year of low interest rates.

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March 19, 2014- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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Today, Colombia boasts the region's third-largest economy and a growing middle class ... Colombia has become Florida's No. 2 trading partner and a potential investment hot spot for Metro Orlando, home to nearly 38,000 Colombians.

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March 13, 2014- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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Unlike in the United States, where technology has helped create new divisions between rich and poor, Colombia wants to use the Internet to close the wealth gap.

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March 11, 2014- News Clips - Investors Can’t Get Enough Of Colombia

Many investors have been stampeding out of emerging-market bonds, but they’re falling in love with Colombia.

 

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March 5, 2014- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism, Santiago Rojas Arroyo, upheld that average growth maintained itself this year, like the three previous years. Colombia will reach the goal of four million international travelers, keeping in mind that currently the completed percentage is 93%.

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Colombia's finance minister said some $12 billion in investment on infrastructure projects this year will boost this Andean country's gross domestic product even as the U.S. signals an end to easy-money policy and some analysts predict a drop in commodity prices.

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February 27, 2014- News Clips - A Chat With Colombia's Finance Minister

Colombia, along with fellow Pacific Alliance members Chile, Mexico and Peru, are embracing free trade and working to diversify exports. Colombian Finance Minister Mauricio Cárdenas spoke to The Wall Street Journal about his country's strong growth prospects despite the tapering of the U.S. Federal Reserve's bond-buying program and a slowdown in China.

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Foreign direct investment in Colombia's mining sector grew 21 percent in the first nine months of 2013 from the same period of 2012, President Juan Manuel Santos said.

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