Colombia is much more than just drugs and coffee. Although commonly associated with heavy drug production, with the infamous FARQ drug cartel that arose in the 90’s; or to their coffee exports, Colombia has seen great economic growth with their GDP growing more than 4% each year for about the past three years. Current president Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, who graduated from the University of Kansas and later went on to attend London School of Economics and Political Science became president in 2010 who has instigated an economic movement different than those previously observed from countries like Argentina and Bolivia.
Santos, former Minister of Defense, took a strong stance against guerrilla groups within Colombia, like FARQ, and has tried to greatly reduce the competition between the government and guerrilla groups over societal influence/control. Under his administration he has pushed for expanding international trade in Colombia while implementing sound policies and promoting free trade agreements; Colombia has become one of the most business friendly environments within Latin America.
Colombia as well, has a low inflation rate of 1.9% and has brought their unemployment rate down to the single digits at about 8%. Colombia has been working within the global market and established alliances in the Pacific realm and with the United States, but Colombia ascended into one of its most important agreements on September 19, 2013. Colombia was a signatory of the OECD, Organization for Cooperation and Development, and has set its eyes on social well-being and economic growth.
Our member countries have used the accession process to improve regulations, address emerging policy challenges and promote further reforms. The process can help Colombia move faster towards its own policy priorities. It is the people of Colombia, first and foremost, who will reap the benefits of Colombia’s membership in the OECD,” said OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria.
As of 2013, Colombia was the fourth nation with the highest GPD in Latin America, and at the same time has the lowest risk perception linked to its economic market.
The 5.1% growth rate confirms our macroeconomic strength and that we are on the right track. We are leaders in employment generation, low inflation and with investment and economic growth in Latin America” stated the president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos Calderon.
Colombia, like the majority of Latin American countries, has an economy that depends heavily on energy and mining exports. For example, the exportation of crude oil alone accounts for about 42% of Colombia’s exports, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity. This dependency on the market of few resources causes the market to become weak. However under Santos agreements, like further involvement with OECD and the creation of various new government agencies, Colombia is in the strive with others to become more independent of its market factors of production.
Recently, all over different customary websites and Youtube, the newly made government agency in Colombia called Proexport has been advertising for the investment in Colombia. The purpose of the company is to promote the trade of non-traditional exports within the country, basically opening up opportunities for new sectors and more market diversity.
Proexport’s new “Invest in Colombia” campaign, is a new and innovative approach to get investors to think about new playing grounds. Unlike populist countries like Argentina and Bolivia, Colombia is openly advertising their resources and what they have to offer to the outside world, with free-market cooperation in mind.