Shaking off its violent past, the Colombia of today is a thriving, open economy with a multitude of opportunities.
After half a century of internal conflict, Colombia is emerging as a bastion of hope and development. A near-failed state a decade ago, the Latin American nation has made a roaring comeback, overtaking Argentina to become the region’s third-biggest economy.
Two years after talks began in Havana, the Colombian government has made unprecedented advances toward a peace deal with representatives of the FARC guerrilla movement, and there are plenty of promising signs that an era marked by violence is drawing to a close.
“Complete peace is not possible without equality, and the only way of achieving long-term equality is by having a well-educated society,” said newly re-elected President Juan Manuel Santos in August 2014, as he announced a plan to have the region’s best-educated population by 2025 as well as a fresh boost to the country’s technology sector and infrastructure.
“Complete peace is not possible without equality.”
Juan Manuel Santos President of ColombiaTweet This
Solid economic management has transformed Colombia into Latin America’s best country for doing business, according to the World Bank, and foreign direct investment has grown by over four percent in the last three years. As well as the mainstays of mining, oil and agriculture, construction is booming, and ambitious public-private partnerships in roads and railways should see investment of up to $25 billion by 2018. Tourism – once unthinkable – is flourishing, with arrivals up 12 percent in 2014.
Meanwhile, the bilateral relationship between Colombia and its most important trading partner, the United States, has evolved to encompass a more innovative agenda, including science and technology, environmental protection, energy and education.
With so many reasons for optimism, the new Colombia, no longer a byword for drug trafficking and violence, is opening its doors to the world as it marches toward prosperity.