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 - 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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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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May 31, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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May 29, 2013- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Visiting U.S. former President Bill Clinton met in Cartagena with Colombian head of state Juan Manuel Santos and literary icon Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and on Thursday joined Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro for a ride around that Caribbean city in an electric taxi.

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Today, Acting United States Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis welcomed growing exports for U.S. businesses, farmers, and ranchers on the first anniversary of the entry into force of the U.S.-Colombia trade agreement. U.S. manufacturers substantially increased exports of transportation equipment, petroleum and coal products, processed food, and computer and electronic products, while farmers and ranchers saw strong growth, including in soybeans, wheat, grapes, pork, and dairy products.

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today hailed the one-year anniversary of the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement’s (FTA) entry into force and touted the benefits it is already producing for the U.S. Economy.

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One of the Commerce Department’s top priorities is to strengthen the economic ties between the United States and our trading partners. One year ago today, the ties between the United States and Colombia became much stronger with the implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, which Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank marked during her remarks today at a luncheon hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce and the Counsel of American Companies (CEA) in Bogotá, Colombia.

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U.S. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank began the first leg of an infrastructure business development trade mission to Sao Paulo, Brazil; Bogotá, Colombia; and Panama City, Panama – three countries that are committing significant resources to infrastructure improvements in the coming years.

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This week, Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank will lead an infrastructure business development trade mission to Brazil, Colombia, and Panama, countries that have created robust infrastructure development plans for the coming years.

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At the 43rd Annual Washington Conference on the Americas, co-hosted by the U.S. Department of State and the Council of the Americas, US Vice President Joe Biden announced that he will travel to Brazil, Colombia, and Trinidad & Tobago during the week of May 26th, 2013.

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Brazil will be the focus of a U.S. trade mission for 20 companies including Morgan Stanley, CNH Global (CNH) NV, Textron Inc. (TXT)’s Cessna Aircraft Co. and OSI Systems Inc. (OSIS)’s Rapiscan, which makes airport screening devices. The delegation also will visit Colombia and Panama, where commercial investment is on the rise. … The mission coincides with the first anniversary of the implementation of the U.S.-Colombia free-trade agreement. “Colombia is launching a very ambitious infrastructure effort” worth about $26 billion over the next four years, Carlos Urrutia, the nation’s ambassador to Washington, said in a phone interview. “There should be a lot of opportunities for U.S. companies.”

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Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he's headed to Brazil and Colombia as the Obama administration ramps up its engagement with Latin America.
Biden told the State Department's Washington Conference on the Americas that he's taking the trip "in the coming weeks."

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… Most every structure in Medellin is of red brick, topped with a red clay tile roof and surrounded by foliage and flowers. This is a city of parks and green spaces. The effect, again, is calming, peaceful. … As I said, Medellin is impressively green, with trees, plants and small gardens everywhere. It's also remarkably clean. In the central neighborhoods, you see no litter. The metro, a point of pride for the local population, is spotless and like new.

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