… Cai, who is actually 30, is in a rush because she and her four other partners are out to build businesses through venture capital, but not Silicon Valley Cool. Her Colombia firm, Polymath Ventures, is all at the unglamorous end of the business, searching for ways to build scalable companies and services in underserved markets for Latin America’s emerging middle class. After our chat, Cai bolts from the two stories of tight office space atop a motorbike garage in a hardscrabble neighborhood in Colombia’s capital of Bogota. I tag along. Her next meeting? At an operations center of the firm’s first venture: a taxi garage. Cai says Polymath aims for every venture to succeed. “Our threshold is: If we do not think we can build a billion-dollar business in a 15- to 20-year time frame, we don’t do it,” she tells OZY.
Ten years ago, the idea that Colombia would become a burgeoning hub for any dynamic industry beyond its notorious drug trade would have struck most observers as far-fetched. As recently as the turn of the century, conventional wisdom had it that the tropical, Andean nation was on the verge of becoming a failed state. Fast forward to the present day and Colombia already boasts one of the region’s stronger startup ecosystems, with huge potential upside still waiting to be explored.
During my recent visit to Colombia, I was often asked what the new Republican majorities in Congress mean for the future of the U.S.-Colombia alliance. The simple answer is that the American people remain as supportive as ever of the Colombian people's aspirations to build a safer and more prosperous republic after a half century of armed conflict against violent narco-terrorist groups. This new Congress should now re-invigorate the U.S.-Colombia partnership at a time when recent security and economic gains have brought the promise of a lasting peace within reach.
Tell people you're vacationing in Colombia and some react like you're going to a war zone. Is it safe, they ask. But as Colombians are quick to point out, this country is very different from a generation ago. Pablo Escobar — the notorious drug kingpin who presided over a reign of violence — has been dead for over 20 years. Colombia still faces challenges, but it's made enormous social and economic strides.
Medellin for Christmas vacation? Si, si! The city once wracked by drug violence has undergone massive social and economic transformation, and it’s now known in tourist circles for spectacular Christmas light displays that veil churches, buildings, parks and even the Medellin River with glittering cascades of color.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos talks about efforts to end a five-decade conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the country’s economy and the potential impact of a Venezuela bond default on Colombia. Santos speaks with Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker at the Bloomberg Latin America Forum in New York.
The four presidents of Latin America’s $2.1 trillion Pacific Alliance bloc said integration is a tool for fighting inequality and they will seek a common agenda with the Mercosur group, led by Brazil and Argentina.
Colombia proposed reallocating about $1.5 billion (3 trillion pesos) in its 2015 budget plan for infrastructure and social spending, Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said on Wednesday.
“The Charlie Rose Show”
After a week of remote treks through the rain forests and an isolated ascent into the Colombian Andes with a small group of five International Expeditions travelers, I was convinced that we had the entire country to ourselves. I was even feeling a bit torn about coming home and writing about it, only to let this wonderful South American secret out.
Colombia will expedite the environmental licensing process for oil, mining, energy and infrastructure projects, but maintain the same rigorous standards, the environment minister said on Thursday.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has reiterated America’s “firm support” for the ongoing peace negotiations between Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels, the White House said.
President Santos interview begins at 08:14
On “Charlie Rose,” a conversation with Juan Manuel Santos. He is President of Colombia and won a second term this June. President Santos was in New York this week for the UN General Assembly meetings.
Juan Valdez, the brand backed by the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, is holding up to competition on its home turf from Starbucks Corp. (SBUX)
Fareed speaks with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos about the state of his country’s economy. Watch the full interview this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on CNN.
When four Latin American ambassadors to the U.S. met Thursday in Arlington, the mayors of Dallas and Fort Worth were on hand to welcome them.
The Pacific Alliance is achieving significant results. Three years ago, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru decided to move toward deeper economic and commercial integration. The effort was based on our common belief that the free movement of people, goods, services and capital can help us achieve greater welfare and social inclusion for our citizens.
The world is mired in insurgencies, with the rise of ISIS in the Middle East, the persistence of Russian-backed rebels in Ukraine, and the continuing attacks of Boko Haram and Al Shabab in Africa. But at least one seemingly intractable guerrilla war — Latin America’s longest — may be coming to an end. Colombia is poised to reach a negotiated end after 50 years of fighting against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the Marxist-Leninist insurgent group known by the acronym FARC. Laudable on their own terms, these talks also shed light on the social changes and negotiating strategies it might take to end other civil wars around the world.
When Governor Deval Patrick announced a trade mission to Colombia in 2013, it may have taken some in Massachusetts by surprise. For those who think that Colombia — once synonymous with drug cartels and criminal networks — is still in a state of paralysis, the idea of a coalition of business, academic, and government leaders visiting my country likely came with consternation and skepticism. But the reality today is that Colombia is a different place than it was just 15 years ago.