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Updates from Colombia

May 1st, 2020

Colombia Becomes 37th OECD Member | President Duque and Secretary Pompeo Discuss Venezuela, COVID-19 | Ambassador Santos on the New Economy | And More … #ColombiaUnidaySolidaria

OECD Welcomes Colombia as 37th Member

- On April 28th, 2020, Colombian President Iván Duque announced that Colombia has joined the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — the international organization promoting policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people worldwide.

- Colombia joins the OECD following a five-year accession process, during which it underwent in-depth reviews spanning a breadth of policy fields, including labor issues, justice system reform, corporate governance of state-owned enterprises, anti-bribery, trade and the establishment of a national policy on industrial chemicals and waste management. Read more from OECD.

- President Duque made the announcement during an OECD first-of-its-kind videoconference that its Secretary General, Angel Gurría, called a model for future remote work with other OECD member states.

President Duque and U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo Discuss Venezuela, COVID-19

- In a phone call this week, President Duque and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed their shared goal of a peaceful transition to democracy in Venezuela.

- Secretary Pompeo expressed U.S. gratitude to Colombia for hosting more than 1.8 million Venezuelan refugees, and they discussed their joint efforts to help those fleeing the oppressive Maduro regime.  

- Secretary Pompeo also pledged to continue helping Colombia meet public health needs arising from COVID-19.

IDB Grants More Than $1 Million in Loans to Colombia to Fight COVID-19

- The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced this week US$1.15 million in loans to Colombia to support its fight against the coronavirus.

- In making the announcement, IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno congratulated Colombian President Iván Duque for the way in which he has been managing the current situation caused by COVID-19.

Latest Measures to Fight COVID-19 in Colombia

- “Virus Hunt” team searches for infected persons before symptoms begin. The Universidad de los Andes has assembled a “Virus Hunt” team that goes out with equipment and personnel to search for individuals with the virus, trying to anticipate the disease. The goal is to reach cases of infection even before the person develops symptoms since asymptomatic cases are the majority.

- More than $120 million in loans awarded. As of April 24, those in the tourism, aviation and entrepreneur sectors affected by the coronavirus crisis had received more than US$120 million in Colombian government assistance.

Click here for more measures Colombia has put in place to address COVID-19.

WATCH: The New Economy in the Time of COVID-19

- Colombian Ambassador to the USA Francisco Santos hosted the second installment in “The New Normality” webinar series on April 30. His guests included:

o Juan Ricardo Ortega, BID Specialist and Former Director of DIAN o Alberto Bernal, Economist and Chief of Strategy at XP Investments o Freddy Vega, Founder and CEO of PLATZI

- In the online event, co-hosted by the Embassy of Colombia and ProColombia, Ambassador Santos and his distinguished panel of experts discussed where the economy could be heading post-COVID-19.

Watch the conversation on the Embassy of Colombia’s Facebook Page.

DANCE: Learn the Salsa During the World Affairs Councils’ Ideas Summit on May 6th

- For the first time, the Colombian Embassy will host free salsa lessons during the World Affairs Councils’ Ideas Summit.

- Tune in on Wednesday, May 6th at 6:00 p.m. ET, and let Yoii Campo, a professional salsa dancer from Cali, Colombia, teach you to salsa during the “Ensálsate, Salsa and Panela” session.

Did You Know?: Colombia Is a Latin American Software Powerhouse

- A perfect ally for software development: Today, more than 20 countries use software & IT services developed by Colombian companies, in verticals such as health, e-learning, education, RRHH and finance retail, among others.

- Trusted by U.S. companies: U.S. companies, including United Health Group, Microsoft, Jumio and IBM, have seen the advantages of partnering with the Colombian market — it’s established and growing, with export expertise, institutionality and incentives, competitive wages for the sector, low operating costs, and is globally connected.  

- The interest is global. In 2019, the total invested capital in the software sector increased more than three times compared to 2010, with the United States as the main investor, followed by Spain, Denmark and Argentina. And, Colombia’s IT exports have grown 2.6% during the last five years.

Thank You for Supporting the “Helping Is Good for Us” Initiative

- The Colombian and international communities have helped us raise millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of grocery parcels to help families struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. We thank you.

- If you’d like to join the campaign, you can donate here:

Fundación Solidaridad por Colombia (monetary donations)  iNNpulsa Colombia (in-kind (non-monetary) contributions)

TONIGHT: Don’t Miss the“Colombia Takes Care of Colombia”Music Benefit May 1st at 8:30 p.m. COT

In Case You Missed It …

- Colombian youngsters prove STEM has no borders: The Colombian organization “STEM sin Fronteras” (“STEM without borders”) is providing Colombian students with opportunities for a better future in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Read more in Forbes.

- The Bogotá International Book Fair online: Didn’t think you’d make the Bogotá International Book Fair this year? Or have you ever wanted to go but couldn’t get there? Well, this year you can explore all the wonderful books the fair has to offer from the comfort of your home! Check out #FILBo2020 here.

- Please vote for Colombia Travel for a “Best of the Internet” Webby Award: Click here to show your support for ProColombia’s travel site!

Connect with the Embassy of Colombia on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram


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