NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow and the Defence Minister of Colombia, Juan Carlos Pinzon Bueno, on Tuesday ( 25 June 2013) signed an Agreement on the Security of Information, an accord that will allow NATO and Colombia to explore future cooperation and consultation in areas of common interest. "As an Alliance of democracies, we are gratified when countries sharing similar values reach out to us," the Deputy Secretary General said during his meeting with Minister Pinzon Bueno.

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June 25, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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Four of Colombia’s cities were recently ranked among top 25 destinations in South America by travel website Trip Advisor. Among Trip Advisor’s “Top 25 destinations – South America,” were the Colombian cities of Cartagena, Bogota, Santa Marta and Cali.

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June 17, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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Seventeen years ago, Andrés Angulo, a recently graduated doctor, rented an apartment, bought a whiteboard, and began training nurses and medical technicians. His first class was anatomy and he had just two students. Today, Campoalto, the educational institute he started with two colleagues, has eight campuses across Colombia’s capital, more than 8,000 active students and can boast more than 20,000 alumni. It has become the nation’s largest vocational health training school and has evolved beyond healthcare education to provide classes on auto mechanics, cooking and clothing manufacturing, among others. And soon, it will be operating in Miami.

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A senior executive at U.S. discount carrier Spirit Airlines Inc. is leaving to take the helm of Colombian startup carrier VivaColombia, highlighting the global expansion of the ultra-low-cost airline model. Spirit Executive Vice President Barry Biffle will become chief executive in August of VivaColombia, a far smaller carrier based in Medellín that is backed by the same investor group behind many of the ultra-low-cost airlines that have also sprung up in Europe and Asia.

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Jetblue Airways passengers can now book flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Medellin, Colombia. The airline launched the new route on Thursday and until June 17, customers can book fares as low as $164 one-way for travel between Sept. 5 and Nov. 7.

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Wednesday invited Israeli businesses to invest in the South American nation during a trade seminar in Tel Aviv. “Together we can create a tremendous synergy. That is why I wanted to come and express our interest, because we have many opportunities. We have many things that you need and you have many things that we need,” Santos declared during the last official meeting of his visit to Israel.

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On Monday, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos finalized a free trade deal with Israel during a meeting with Israeli Head of State Shimon Peres. The conclusion of the free trade agreement with Israel comes after 15 months of negotiations with the Middle Eastern nation. The agreement is now subject to ratification by both Colombian and Israeli parliament.

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June 7, 2013- News Clips - Colombian Navy Tall Ship Visits Honolulu

A Colombian naval ship is visiting Honolulu starting this weekend. The three-masted ARC Gloria is making a port call at Aloha Tower starting Friday. It's scheduled to stay through Tuesday. The large sailing ship is a training vessel of the Colombian Naval School. It also serves as an ambassador of Colombia while abroad.

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Colombia produced 1.01 million barrels of oil a day in May, a sharp rise from the same month of 2012 and little changed from the previous four months of this year. The Mines and Energy Ministry said in a statement crude oil output last month was 8.3% higher from the 935,000 barrels a day it produced in May 2012. So far this year, production has averaged just above or just below the 1 million-barrel-a-day mark, which is the government's target production rate.

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June 4, 2013- News Clips - Joe Biden: The Americas Ascendant

Last week, during a five-day trip through Latin America and the Caribbean, I visited a cut-flower farm outside Bogota, Colombia, an hour's drive from downtown that would have been impossibly dangerous 10 years ago. Along the way I passed office parks, movie theaters and subdivisions, interspersed with small ranches and family businesses. At the flower farm, one-quarter of the workers are female heads of households. The carnations and roses they were clipping would arrive in U.S. stores within days, duty free.

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June 4, 2013- News Clips - The New Colombia

Policy reforms, improved security and a commodities boom have lead to Colombia’s emergence as one of Latin America’s investment hotspots - but challenges still lie ahead.

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May 31, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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May 29, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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May 28, 2013- News Clips - Vice President Biden Travels to Colombia

Marking his fourth visit to the region since taking office, Vice President Biden left D.C. on Sunday for a trip to Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Brazil. Following President Obama’s recent visit to Mexico and Costa Rica, the trip is the latest demonstration of the United States’ commitment to reinforcing partnerships in the Americas. The Vice President began his trip in Bogota, where he held a bilateral meeting with President Juan Miguel Santos of Colombia, and highlighted the country’s remarkable progress on security issues as well as the importance of our economic relationship.

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Vice President Biden in Bogota on Monday praised Colombian President Juan Manuel Santo’s work to bring an end to his country’s civil war and heralded closer economic ties in the region.

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In his first visit to Colombia in more than a decade, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that he’s pleased security concerns can now take a back seat to trade and economic issues in talks with Washington’s longtime ally. Biden praised President Juan Manuel Santos for helping lead Latin America toward a ‘‘middle class, democratic and secure’’ future.

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United States Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Colombia will focus on the country’s security progress and aims to “reaffirm the strong bilateral relationship between the two nations,” White House officials told Colombian media. Biden will be in Colombia’s capital Bogota on Monday to meet the country’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, to discuss the progress in public safety, an anonymous White House source told newspaper El Espectador.

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May 15, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, in partnership with the Clean Technology Fund, is helping Colombian financial institutions develop sustainable energy finance programs to support local companies that seek to fund energy efficiency upgrades, clean technology investments, and renewable energy projects. In collaboration with the National Banking Association in Colombia (Asobancaria), IFC is hosting a conference in Bogota, Colombia for financial institutions to share their experiences in scaling up sustainable energy finance, and highlight the challenges and opportunities for further growth in the Colombian market.

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U.S. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank today announced that L-3 Communications Corporation Warrior Systems Sector (Londonderry, New Hampshire) and its distributor Aviation Specialties Unlimited (Boise, Idaho) recently secured a contract from the Government of Colombia worth $42 million. The announcement comes on the heels of Acting Secretary Blank’s trade mission to Brazil, Colombia and Panama, which wrapped up on May 17.

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May 22, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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Presidents from some of the most economically dynamic Latin American nations will hold a summit in Cali, Colombia, this week, aiming to deepen a new trade group that is emerging as an alternative to other regional blocs that have erected trade barriers in recent years.

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When President Barack Obama came into office, one of his priorities was to push forward and implement the U.S.-Colombia trade promotion agreement. The agreement celebrated its first anniversary on May 15. That’s good news for Texas, which has the highest dollar amount of U.S. exports to Colombia. The U.S. and Colombia have had a strong relationship for decades. Over the past five years, our friendship has truly blossomed.

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Former President Clinton visited Colombia last week, meeting with President Juan Manuel Santos while visiting Cartagena, where Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro showed him around the city in an electric taxi.

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Hollywood may migrate south for a while while Colombia becomes the next country to bid for Hollywood production by offering incentives for filming. According to a report by Variety, a new law in the country will allow foreign shoots for film and TV investing over $500,000 in the Colombia's economy can receive cash rebates of up to 40 percent on qualified expenses and 20 percent rebates on living and transportation expenses.

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On the heels of Travel and Tourism Week, Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank visited the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Colombia today as part of the trade mission she is leading this week to Brazil, Colombia, and Panama.

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May 16, 2013- News Clips - Colombia-U.S. FTA’s First Anniversary

The US Embassy of Colombia in Washington says the US./Colombian Free Trade Agreement has generated 28-and-a-half Billion in trade for both countries in its first year, benefitting ag trade both ways.

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May 16, 2013- News Clips - U.S. Exports To Colombia On The Rise

U.S. manufacturing and agricultural exports to Colombia are on the rise, as the trade agreement between the two nations reaches its one-year mark, according to Acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis. U.S. manufacturers have “substantially” increased exports of transportation equipment, petroleum and coal products, processed food and computer and electronic parts, while farmers and ranchers have seen “strong growth” in soybeans, wheat, grapes, pork and dairy products, Marantis said in a written statement.

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