This quaint colonial town, nestled in the mountains three hours north of Bogotá by car, is a favorite retreat for city slickers who want to slow down. Ubiquitous red-tile roofs peek over high, white-washed walls as local women in ponchos and fedoras tread across ancient cobblestone streets. Time seems to stand still. But on the last weekend in June this was the site of the eighth ministerial meeting of the Pacific Alliance, the most important trade liberalization effort in the Americas that you've never heard of.
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.
Colombia and Peru are fast approaching the final stages of ratification of a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union. It is a major agreement that offers a bridge for ever-widening relations and commerce between South America and the Union. And in our age of globalization such a bridge is very necessary.
At an early age, I saw how important small – and medium – sized businesses are to the fabric of the Latino community. … Latino businesses – like all American Businesses – have so much to offer. All they need is a fair opportunity to succeed.
For the last four years, both the Colombians and supporters in the United States have waited for the U.S. congress to ratify the Free Trade Agreement. The Congress approved the FTA on October 23, 2011 and this week, the agreement comes into force. Free trade in goods, services and investment will be introduced gradually over fifteen years.
The May 15 entry into force of the U.S.-Colombia free-trade agreement (FTA) marked a significant accomplishment for both countries, but it is the beginning, not the end, of the effort to bring the benefits of open trade to Colombia and to position the country to compete effectively in the global economy.
During the past decade, a remarkable transformation has taken place in the Western Hemisphere. Across the region, countries are doing more than they ever have before to advance peace and security within and beyond their borders. … I recently had the opportunity to visit three countries that demonstrate this progress during my first trip to South America as the United States Secretary of Defense.
After a long journey from conception to gestation, the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will become a reality on May 15. The accord will render clear benefits for both sides. Colombia remains the third largest market in Latin America for U.S. exports and the second most important for small- and medium-sized firms.
It was a gratifying moment when President Obama joined Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos two weeks ago at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, where the U.S. leader acknowledged the tremendous progress that Colombia has made over the past decade in restoring peace, security and prosperity. Colombia is proud of its progress and is grateful to the United States for its continued support.
The United States cannot afford to keep putting Latin America on the back burner as it focuses the bulk of its attention on Asia,Europe and the Middle East. The Western Hemisphere holds significant strategic interest for the U.S. — as well as enormous promise. … Colombia has become a security success story ... they embraced a smart strategy and had the courage to fight the drug cartels and the narco-terrorists of the FARC. Out of that struggle, Colombia has emerged as a security exporter with robust government institutions and a successful free-enterprise system.
As elected leaders of both political parties search for solutions to create jobs and get America's economy moving, they acted last year on one particularly important investment in our future by approving the Colombia free-trade agreement. The president highlighted the agreement this past weekend at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, and he should have.
Next month, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will host the sixth Summit of the Americas. Every Latin American leader except Cuba's - 32 altogether - will attend to discuss an ambitious agenda of regional cooperation. The event could mark the high point of Santos' 19-month-old presidency. External perceptions of Colombia have improved markedly over the past decade, reflected in rising foreign investment and exports, both of which reached their highest levels ever in 2011.
Colombia is a land of culturally rich colonial cities, lanky skyscrapers, pristine beaches, dense Amazon jungle, snow-capped Andean and Sierra Nevadan mountains, archeological ruins and home to author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. And, I should add, in my view, a country ripe with intriguing potential investment opportunities.
The presidents of Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile did a smart thing the other day, which could save Latin America a lot of time, money and insufferable speeches in the future: they held the region's first virtual summit. The four leaders, who are preparing to launch a free trade bloc in June that will be known as the Alliance of the Pacific, met March 5 behind closed doors via video-conference.
The recent passage of the long-delayed Colombia, Panama and South Korea free trade agreements (FTAs) is projected to significantly increase U.S. exports and create tens of thousands of new U.S. jobs by immediately eliminating nearly all tariffs on most U.S. goods and services.
Tired of political gridlock in Washington? Of this parade of ludicrous presidential candidates? Want to go to a country where people still believe that they can take on big challenges? Try Colombia.
While Saturday’s summit that created a Community of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (CELAC) in Venezuela drew big headlines, a little-noticed meeting of five Latin American Pacific rim countries two days later will have a much greater impact on people’s lives, and on the region’s economic future. Unlike the CELAC summit, which was full of poetic declarations of regional unity but created no concrete mechanisms for economic integration, the summit of the Alliance of the Pacific — made up of Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico, with Panama as an invited observer country — and held Monday at the Mexican city of Merida made a series of concrete agreements that could turn it into the largest and most ambitious economic bloc in the region.
Last week, in Merida, Mexico, the leaders of Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Colombia met to affirm their shared commitment to economic integration,growth, and competitiveness…. It seems that while the United States’ key partners in Latin America were meeting to discuss critical economic and trade issues, America failed to pay much attention. America’s disregard, however, makes little sense. With a total population that exceeds 200 million, the nations of the Pacific Alliance account for 34 percent of Latin America’s gross domestic product and 50 percent of Latin America’s total trade. In fact, trade in the four alliance countries is higher than that of the already two-decades-old Mercosur trade bloc.
These are just the most recent, highest profile moves we’ve seen in Colombia, a country with the fourth largest economy in the region. Overall, we’re seeing about half a dozen quality tech startups launch here every year. Some are local plays and some are companies from other countries in the region. Venture funding has been scarce, but new initiatives such as Startup Weekend, international accelerator the Founder Institute and a corporate venture fund from telecommunications firm Telefonica could help improve this situation.
And 10 days ago…I was fortunate to meet the man who was largely responsible for transforming Colombia from a country torn apart by armed conflict into a secure and stable nation with attractive investment opportunities. Colombia is the third largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, after Mexico and Spain, with a population of 46 million. In terms of economic output it is probably on a par with South Africa. Alvaro Uribe Vélez, 59, was the president of Colombia from 2002 to last year.
The long, tiring debate over the FTA—which began five years ago, when the agreement was first completed—showed that popular perceptions of Colombia are stuck in a time warp. Not only has the country become a much safer and less violent place than it was in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, it has also become one of the most promising economies in the Western Hemisphere. Last year, veteran Latin America correspondent Mac Margolis described Colombia as “a prospering dynamo,” noting that foreign direct investment (FDI) increased fivefold—and per capita GDP doubled—between 2002 and 2010. For that matter, the country received more than $7 billion worth of FDI during the first six months of 2011, an increase of 91.4 percent over the equivalent period in 2010. As the Wall Street Journal reported in mid-September, Colombia is one of six developing nations that “are being touted as the next generation of tiger economies.” Known by the acronym CIVETS, this group also includes Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa.
That will be happening because of the recent passage of free-trade agreements between the United States and South Korea, Colombia and Panama. The agreements are the latest triumph for economic conservatives like the Club for Growth, who believe that free people making free-market decisions is best for everyone regardless of their nationalities.
Job creators across Wisconsin have come out in strong support of these agreements because they will open the door to many markets that were once nearly impossible for U.S. businesses to compete in. Wisconsin companies have had to jump extra hurdles in order to ship goods to Colombia, Panama or South Korea, but thanks to these trade agreements they will be able to conduct business on a more even playing field. This will not only benefit the diverse industries that rely on selling their goods overseas, but will also help the many Wisconsinites who are struggling to find work.
The passage this month of free trade agreements may be a victory not only for President Obama, but also for workers in Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Although the anticipated economic consequences of these agreements are small, these pacts also offer a mechanism for improving workers’ rights in partner countries.
Friday’s quiet signing of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Panama and South Korea by President Obama not only marks important progress in opening markets for U.S. products and services, but it also marks a rare moment in bipartisanship. And it’s good news for the struggling U.S. economy as our manufacturers and service providers can now compete on a level playing field abroad with the Europeans and Canadians.
Pending free-trade agreements with Panama, Colombia and South Korea probably didn'tgenerate a lot of thought among Cedar Valley businesses, but they should. These are potentially big deals precisely because of Iowa's reliance on two areas of keen interest in all of those countries: agriculture and manufacturing.
After four years delay, Congress has ratified free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Each of the treaties facilitates efficient allocation of resources, including the profit drives of individuals. Specific dimensions make each distinctive, and promising in political as well as economic terms.
President Barack Obama, by signing trade agreements Friday with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, is demonstrating that Washington is finally taking action to expand free trade and bolster U.S. jobs. Now that this logjam has been broken, we must do more to open new markets. All three agreements — which were negotiated under President George W. Bush — will be job creators, potentially boosting U.S. exports by $13 billion. This can create or support tens of thousands of jobs.
The trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, along with the renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance reforms and key preference programs, took a long road to passage — some say too long. But in taking the time to get these initiatives right, the president cleared a path to stronger long-term trade policy. When the president signs these bills on Friday, the ceremony will signal more than the deals’ ratifications. It will validate this president’s approach to trade: more responsible and more responsive to Americans’ concerns.
Congratulations to Congress on passing the three free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama last week. Not because they’re going to necessarily directly help U.K. companies, but because each of those FTAs are a long awaited confirmation to America’s trading partners that she is committed to free trade.