Colombia recently created the National Infrastructure Agency to oversee development and ensure maintenance of this new infrastructure. In addition to the U.S., the group is seeing interest in investment opportunities from countries like South Korea, Canada, Spain and France. The NIA estimates that infrastructure investment will more than double by the end of next year to nearly $4 billion, and it could pass $7 billion by 2014. Most of that money will be used to build better roads with plans to double the number of four-lane highways by 2014 and quadruple them by 2018.
Medellin on Saturday officially turned on its renowned Christmas decorations, one of the city's main tourist attractions of the year. City officials have been preparing the official inauguration for months. A total of 16 million lights decorate the city's parks and a number of special locations.
Global Travel Industry News
More companies than ever are selling Colombia as a travel product. From the country’s rich tourism offerings both in nature and culture, Colombia is a transformed destination that is attracting global visitors. Jumping from 12 to 21 Colombian tour operators this past year, Colombia is enjoying a sharp rise in its tourism infrastructure.
Colombians are taking to the streets in 50 cities Tuesday to demand an end to violence and the immediate release of hostages held by illegal armed groups. Organizers are hoping millions will respond to calls by social organizations, media and politicians to protest…. "We hope that 10 million Colombians in more or less 80 cities around the world come out" Carlos Andres Santiago, founder of Colombia Soy Yo - part of the Youth Movement Alliance - told Colombia Reports.
Bogota has launched a 10-year culture plan, outlining its plans for art, culture and heritage in the city from 2012 to 2021, acccording to newspaper El Tiempo. The municipal government says ideas of what art is must extend beyond traditional spheres of "objects" or "works", and proposes using new technologies to push boundaries. Other major elements of the plan include the safeguarding of cultural heritage and the promotion of the cultural practices of villages and communities around the capital.
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.
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.
Colombia's battle against corruption and evasion will help boost tax revenue to as much as 100 trillion pesos ($51.8 billion) next year as the Andean nation attracts fresh sources of funds to its accelerating economy…. The increase in tax collections illustrates advances made by President Juan Manuel Santos as he seeks to clean up Colombia's image and attract foreign investment after a half-century fight with insurgent groups and crime gangs tarnished its reputation.
Ciclovia — “bike lane’’ in Spanish — is one of Colombia’s most successful exports. Starting in 1974, this Andean nation began closingdown major streets of the capital to make way for bikers, walkers and joggers. Now, every Sunday, holiday and some special occasions, some 700,000 people turn those streets ciclovias, into a massive urban park that winds 75 miles through the city.
The forestry project was one of the first to be registered by the UN "Clean Development Mechanism" programme (CDM) for environmentally compatible developments. From 2012, Faber-Castell is expected to become the world's first private corporation authorized to deal in CO2 certificates from managed forests. In the north of Colombia, in the El Magdalena region where the land has been spoiled by excessive animal husbandry, 67 farmers are currently planting and looking after 1561 hectares of woodland as a source of timber for Faber-Castell.
Cartagena , the historic jewel of Colombia's Caribbean coast, is a secret that's getting out. The city's spectacular setting is a draw in itself. Protected by ancient stone walls that enclose its vibrant port, Cartagena is almost entirely surrounded by the Caribbean Sea….Between January and August 2010, more than 111,000 international visitors came to Colombia, up 9% from the year before, according to Colombian immigration authorities. Of those visitors, 11% madeCartagena their primary destination.
The U.S. Agency for International Development has joined the Government of Colombia in launching a program to help struggling members ofColombia's Afro-descendant and indigenous communities. The program seeks toguarantee human rights, improve governance, provide job skills training andincrease awareness and respect of cultural diversity. USAID is investing $61 million dollars into the program that will be implemented in coordination with the Colombian government at the national, departmental and local levels.
The El Bosque Beauty Clinic Hotel will offer cosmetic surgery plus five-star accommodation to foreigners visiting the Colombian capital. The complex will contain more than 130 rooms and 40 doctors offices, alongside shops, green space and conference rooms. Plans for an $11.3M cosmetic surgery tourism complex in Bogota were revealed Monday.
My taxi driver bravely weaved through the midday traffic as I strained to catch a glimpse of Old Town. I was eager to see the city that Gabriel Garcia Marquez vividly portrayed in Love in the Time of Cholera — one of narrow cobblestoned streets, three-story colonial-era homes, and a flair for the unpredictable.
U.S. News & World Report
In Medellin, Colombia, Christmas seems to be all about the lights. By the first of December, they're draped everywhere —on palm trees, pine trees, lampposts, doorways, highway signs, shop entrances, and park benches.
The U.S. Trade Representative also is continuing to work with the governments of Colombia and Panama — the other two pacts Congress passed in October — to bring those agreements into force.
President Juan Manuel Santos signed five decrees laying out regulations under the so-called Victims Law. The Congress approved the law in May, and Santos signed it in June. Colombia’s president approved details of a plan Tuesday to pay compensation to an estimated 4 million victims of the country’s long-running civil conflict.
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa announced Monday that relations between Ecuador and Colombia were improving now there was a "serious and respectful government" headed by his counterpart, President Juan Manuel Santos.
Fox News Latino
Colombia's potentially groundbreaking new Victim's Law will provide cash compensation to those who can prove that they have been victimized in the country's longstanding civil war. An estimated 4 million people stand to benefit from the measure.
Colombia’s economy expanded at the fastest pace since at least 2000 in the third quarter, putting the country in a better position than its neighbors to weather a European debt crisis that’s curbing appetite for riskier assets.
Colombia's finance minister says he expects the national economy will grow by 5% in 2012 in an interview with W Radio Wednesday. Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry said that in order "not to count one's chickens before they hatch" the government hopes the growth will be around the 4% mark.