The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today announced the completion of action plans for the Colombian cities of Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Manizales, and Pereira, providing them with powerful tools to prioritize their investments over the next decade. The action plans provide preliminary estimates that the four Colombian cities require $2.2 billion in investments in areas such as urban development of socially vulnerable areas, expansion of public transport systems and provision of exclusive lanes for pedestrians and bicycles, renovation of historic centers, public safety, and strengthened fiscal management.

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The Bogota International Book Fair, whose guest of honor was Portugal this year, drew 18,000 more visitors than the 2012 edition, with total visitors hitting 433,000, organizers said. The 14-day fair, which closed its doors on Wednesday, saw attendance rise 4.3 percent from the 415,000 visitors registered last year.

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Photography enthusiasts are in for a treat over the next month, as Colombia’s capital of Bogota plays host to more than 30 exhibitions encompassing the work of both local and international talent. Bogota’s 5th biannual photography festival kicks off on May 4 and continues until June 15. Running on the theme of “Panoramic Landscapes,” the work of both local and international photographers will be showcased across 30 free exhibitions located in city streets, universities, on the Transmilenio bus system, at bus stops, in museums and galleries, and on billboards.

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Colombia’s Minster of Mines and Energy Federico Renjifo on Thursday announced that the country’s oil reserves increased by 5.22% from 2011 to 2012. “The net growth [in oil reserves] in 2012 was 5.22% versus the 2011 report, and an increase in relation to reserves over production,” said the minister. “We can affirm that the country has crude oil self-sufficiency for 6.9 years if we maintain the same level of production.”

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Feature length films, documentaries and shorts from Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Paraguay and the United States are being screened this weekend at the 2nd Filadelfia Latin American Film Festival, or FLAFF. The festival is aimed at helping Latin American film artists in the United States who want to get greater public recognition of their work as well as offering the public films to which they normally do not have access, said Brazilian Beatriz Vieira, the co-founder of FLAFF.

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The third episode of Bourdain’s Parts Unknown ends with a literal bang as Bourdain topples off an ATV. His location; however, is precisely what CNN’s newest show is all about. Bourdain is in Guajira, the rugged land of the Wayuu people in northern Colombia.

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April 29, 2013- News Clips - 12 Reasons to Visit Colombia

"My husband Paul and I just came back from our second trip to Colombia. We know what you are thinking: danger, danger, drugs, dissolution, despair. Here's what I am thinking: fabulous, friendly, fun, fave country."

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April 24, 2013- News Clips - Cartagena Strives to Become a Megaport

The Colombian Caribbean port of Cartagena is undergoing improvements to its infrastructure to become one of the world’s 30 best megaports by 2017. The nearly US$1 billion “Mega 2017” project is a two-stage process in which the port’s facilities will be upgraded and expanded so it can double the amount of cargo containers it can handle by the end of the year – putting it on the same level as the ports in the U.S. cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach and New York.

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A new oil pipeline in Colombia is set to start operating in July, an essential and much-awaited step in improving the country's archaic crude transportation infrastructure which is struggling to keep up with a surge in oil production in recent years. The Bicentennial oil pipeline, which will operate in eastern Colombia, is set to complete its first phase of construction in the coming weeks and is slated to go on-line in July with a capacity to transport 110,000 barrels of oil per day. That phase could eventually reach 140,000 barrels of oil per day.

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April 24, 2013- News Clips - Colombian Cuisine - From Aguardiente to Viche

Come to Colombia for the coffee, tropical climate and charming people; stay for the arepas, fresh fruit, abundant seafood, breakfast soups and powerful liquor.

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Top British and Colombian officials on Monday celebrated a new partnership that promises to strengthen ties in higher education, science and business. Colombia’s recent economic transformation, coupled with better security and a prospect for peace has ushered in a wave of trade interest from other countries. A British mission led by Minister of Universities and Science David Willetts brought optimism for Colombia’s future, as well as prospects for increased trade between the two nations.

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April 24, 2013- News Clips - A Closer Look at Colombia

A coastal country with deserts and mountains between its borders, Colombia draws the adventurous tourist with its varied terrain. Bocagrande beach in Cartagena is popular with kitesurfers during the warm season, which lasts from December till April.

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April 24, 2013- News Clips - Cities a Study in Colombia Contrasts

Bogota, the capital city. Pereira, in the heart of the coffee-growing region. And Cartagena, the coastal walled city. Three different cities, clearly representing the range of contrasts that makes Colombia so fascinating.

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Colombia’s foreign debt rating was raised to the second-lowest investment grade by Standard & Poor’s as economic growth increased tax revenue and peace talks with rebels boosted investor confidence.

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April 22, 2013- News Clips - Colombia’s Growing Avocado Model

The formation of CORPOHASS marks an important milestone for Colombia in the avocado industry, as it moves from domsetically focused sales to the international market. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the country was the world’s fifth largest producer of the fruit in 2011 with 215,322 metric tons (MT), slightly ahead of Peru at the time and 60,631MT behind the fourth ranked grower Indonesia.

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Colombia and the United States on Friday signed the Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA) to facilitate heightened cooperation on issues where the environment and trade intersect. Juan Gabriel Uribe of Colombia's environment and sustainability ministry, together with Robert D. Hormats, U.S. under-secretary for economic growth, energy and the environment, signed the U.S. - Colombia ECA in Washington D.C.

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Two top businesswomen in Colombia, a country that has just over 50% of its women in the workforce, told Colombia Reports that they attribute their success to hard work and commitment. Although gender equality is far from a reality in Colombia, a number of Colombian women have defied the stereotypes and risen to highly regarded positions in business.

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Fonseca took Times Square by surprise this Thursday by performing for hundreds of visitors that walked the streets of New York City. The Colombian artist gathered flash mob-style in the city’s most popular section to play for the public.

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Two-time Latin Grammy winner Fonseca was full of optimism at the launch of a Colombia tourism campaign in Times Square and refused to let the Boston marathon tragedies disturb his performance. The campaign is designed to project a positive image of Colombia and attract business and tourism to the country.

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New figures from Colombia's government statistics agency, DANE, showed a 9% increase in imports during the first two months of 2013 as compared to the same period last year. Despite the 9% increase, DANE reported that the country spent 0.7% less on imports in February than they did in February 2012.

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April 19, 2013- News Clips - A Visit to Bogotá, Colombia

The Andean city has become an international entertainment center. Shop at Mario Hernandez for chic leather bags, walk around La Candelaria and dine at Club Colombia for hearty soups and arepas.

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April 18, 2013- News Clips - World's Leading Illustrators Come to Bogota

Leading illustrators from around the world on Thursday gathered in Bogota for the Fig.03 International Illustrators Conference. The three day festival is Colombia’s chance to get to know the people responsible for those disturbing, enlightening and poetic images that fill up our everyday lives from books, magazines, posters, walls, clothes, and computer screens.

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April 17, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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Nohra Padilla spent her childhood at a garbage dump here in Colombia’s capital before going on to organize the city’s poor recyclers. Now the activist, who travels the world giving talks about waste management, has won one of the world’s most prestigious environmental prizes. Padilla is a 2013 winner of the San Francisco-based Goldman Environmental Prize, which comes with a $150,000 cash award, the group announced Monday.

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April 12, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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State-owned copper mining company Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile, or Codelco, signed an agreement Tuesday with Colombia's Ministry of Mines and Energy that paves the way for the world's largest copper producer to enter the Colombian mining sector. Codelco, the world's largest copper producer accounting for about 11% of annual global output, mines the industrial metal only domestically and in small exploration ventures in the region.

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After almost a year of having signed the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia, and in a follow-up report of such agreement, the Department of Commerce of the United States announced a ten percent growth in trade between both countries. Colombia exported goods to the United States for an amount close to 24,700 million dollars, a figure never before reached.

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Colombia's oil production in March exceeded 1 million barrels in spite of continuing rebel attacks against Colombia's energy infrastructure. The information released by the Colombian ministry of mining and energy shows Colombia's crude oil production in March averaged 1,013,481 barrels per day.

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Colombia, at one point in time, was more known for drug trafficking rather than its economic prowess, but that reputation is slowly changing as the nation continues to post strong economic growth numbers. The GDP data is even more impressive in light of the struggles the Western world has been experiencing.

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