Colombia leapt into the top 10 of the FIFA rankings for the first time in 10 years on Wednesday, while Brazil dropped to a record low despite winning three games in the last month. Colombia, under Argentina's 2006 World Cup coach Jose Pekerman and spearheaded by Atletico Madrid forward Radamel Falcao, enjoyed a 4-0 win over Uruguay and 3-1 win in Chile in last month's World Cup qualifiers.
I've only been at the Petronio Álvarez Festival, in the football stadium in Cali, south-west Colombia, for a few minutes when I feel the pumping salsa beats and welcoming atmosphere wash over me. …This is the world's largest Afro-Latino festival and a great way to begin a trip to Colombia's Pacific region, with its rich culture and history. Every August, thousands of Colombians descend on Cali to enjoy a weekend of the best Afro music South America has to offer.
California Apparel News
After years of negotiations and months of ironing out the fine details, the United States–Colombia Free Trade Agreement will go into effect May 15. That is good news for apparel and textile makers, whose goods will see tariffs eliminated on items made from regional yarns. Knit fabric follows a fiber-forward rule.
Wall Street Journal
U.S. officials said Sunday that a free-trade agreement with Colombia will go into effect on May 15, boosting the prospect of U.S. exports to this Andean nation. "Colombia has passed those laws and regulations necessary in order for the free-trade agreement to enter into force," said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. "This is a significant milestone."
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said Sunday that the United States and Colombia will enter into their trade agreement on May 15, an announcement which comes as President Obama concludes his visit to Colombia for the Summit of the Americas. The free trade agreement, which had taken several years to complete before Congress passed it last year, is now set to take effect after the Obama administration determined that Colombia had taken sufficient steps to address union worker concerns in a Labor Action Plan.
House Ways and Means Committee Press Release
Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) issued the following statements today after President Obama and Colombian President Santos announced that the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement would enter into force on May 15, 2012. The presidents’ announcement today in Cartagena, Colombia, comes eight years after the United States and Colombia began negotiating the agreement – in that same city – and nearly five-and-a-half years after the agreement was signed.
U.S. Senate Finance Committee Press Release
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus hailed the announcement today that the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will enter into force on May 15. Baucus led the fight urging the Administration to send the job-creating agreement to Congress and last year led the Senate to pass the implementing legislation for the trade agreement with Colombia.
Office of the United States Trade Representative Press Release
President Barack Obama announced today that the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will take effect on May 15, 2012. This announcement follows completion of work by the United States and Colombia to review each other’s laws and regulations related to the implementation of the Agreement, as well as Colombia’s important steps to fulfill the Action Plan Related to Labor Rights.
National Foreign Trade Council Press Release
The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today applauded the U.S. and Colombian governments for working together to set a date for implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The NFTC welcomed the Administration's announcement yesterday that the agreement will enter into force on May 15, 2012.
Business Roundtable Press Release
Business Roundtable (BRT) today welcomed the announcement by President Obama that the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will be implemented in mid-May. The announcement came yesterday at the Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia. “Colombia is an important trading partner for the United States, and this long-awaited free trade agreement will increase U.S. exports to the fast-growing region,” said John Engler, BRT President.
Coalition of Service Industries Press Release
The Coalition of Service Industries (CSI) welcomed President Obama’s announcement that preparations for the implementation of the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement are complete. “With the completion of preparations for the implementation of the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, US services exporters can begin to realize the benefits of this significant trade pact”, Bob Vastine, president of CSI, said.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is seeking to boost business ties with Colombia during an official state visit beginning Thursday. Rajoy will meet with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at the headquarters of Bogota's Chamber of Commerce, the office of the president announced.
Fernando Botero says he's never painted a fat person in his life. According to El Maestro, as he is often referred to, the volume and exaggerated sizes in his art work are but a mere glorification of sensuality and life. The overplayed proportions of his art work--which includes over 3,000 paintings and 300 sculptures-- have earned Botero world-wide recognition, making him one of the most acclaimed contemporary artists still alive.
A French diplomat will travel to Colombia tomorrow as part of efforts to strengthen ties between the two countries. Pierre Sellal, the secretary general of French Foreign and European Affairs, will meet his Colombian counterpart Monica Lanzetta Mutis and Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, to discuss bilateral issues and France's relationship to Latin America.
Colombia is a "true friend of Israel," the Jewish state's defence minister said on Tuesday, adding that military cooperation between the two countries would increase. During a meeting of more than an hour in Bogota with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Defence Minister Ehud Barak highlighted the joint work "in the fight against terrorism and affirmed that bilateral military cooperation would grow," Barak's office said.
Colombian stocks rose Tuesday, fueled by gains in oil and financial shares, while the peso strengthened against the dollar. The Colcap index, the benchmark for Colombia's most heavily traded shares, rose 0.25% to end the session at 1765.55 points. The index is now at its highest level in 13 months.
Colombia's Ministry of Culture is aiming to host a record-breaking dance party during celebrations for the International Day of Dance -- with the help of Grammy Award-winning singer Carlos Vives. The goal is to host nation-wide parties, making the celebration the world's largest- coordinated dance event.
American Forces Press Service
After a meeting today with Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón Bueno, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta promised the U.S. military partner of 60 years continued commitment and assistance. On the first day of a weeklong visit to South America, Panetta said it is appropriate that Colombia was his first stop.
El próximo 15 de Mayo Entra en Vigencia el TLC entre Colombia y Estados Unidos
Los gobiernos de Colombia y Estados Unidos intercambiaron instrumentos de ratificación para avanzar un paso más en la entrada en vigor del Tratado de Libre Comercio. El intercambio de notas fue suscrito por la Ministra de Relaciones Exteriores, María Ángela Holguín, y el Representante de la Oficina de Comercio de EE.UU, Ron Kirk, este domingo 15 de abril en Cartagena.
El Presidente Juan Manuel Santos resaltó que la entrada en vigor del acuerdo comercial "significa miles, millones de empleos para Estados Unidos y para Colombia". El Presidente de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, aseguró que este es un tratado sin precedentes y un gana-gana para los dos países. También destacó los avances de Colombia en materia de protección de los derechos laborales.
Cartagena, 15 abr (SIG). "Hoy podemos anunciar que el 15 de mayo, exactamente dentro de un mes, entra en vigencia, ya en términos prácticos, el Tratado de Libre Comercio con Estados Unidos". Así lo confirmó este domingo el Presidente Juan Manuel Santos tras sostener una reunión bilateral con su homólogo norteamericano, Barack Obama.
El Presidente Santos resaltó que la entrada en vigencia del acuerdo comercial con esta potencia económica, representa la generación de miles, de millones de empleos tanto en Colombia como en Estados Unidos.
"Para nosotros es un sueño que teníamos hace muchísimo tiempo. Desde que fui Ministro de Comercio, hace 20 años, soñábamos con tener libre comercio con Estados Unidos y esto se ha hecho realidad hoy aquí en Cartagena", manifestó el mandatario colombiano.
El Presidente de Colombia agradeció a Estados Unidos y al Presidente Obama su constante apoyo a nuestro país.
"Gracias al Plan Colombia, gracias al apoyo de Estados Unidos y gracias a usted, Presidente Obama, por el apoyo permanente que nos ha dado, pues hoy somos una democracia vigorosa, actuante, que está dado resultados concretos para nuestra gente y que ha sido reconocida por el mundo entero", dijo.
Por su parte, el Presidente Barack Obama aseguró que este es un "acuerdo de libre comercio sin precedentes". De igual manera destacó los avances de Colombia en materia de protección de los derechos laborales.
"Desde la Casa Blanca acordamos un plan para velar por la protección de los derechos laborales. Sabemos que queda mucho trabajo por hacer, pero hemos alcanzado avances muy importantes", afirmó el Presidente Obama.
Puntualizó que el TLC es un gana-gana para ambos países, porque permitirá incrementar las exportaciones y permitirá promover el empleo tanto en Colombia como en Estados Unidos.
Colombia’s unemployment rate dipped to 10.4% in March from 10.9% during the same period last year, according to the government statistics agency DANE. The statistics agency said last month that unemployment continued to affect 2.37 million Colombians compared to 2.38 million in 2011. The figure also represents a decline from February, when unemployment stood at 11.9%. Last year's average figure was 10.8%.
Institute of the Americas
As the Obama administration grapples with a Secret Service scandal, Colombia is emerging as a regional leader that focused the Summit of the Americas on issues of importance to ordinary citizens, said John Feeley, a top U.S. State Department official. “Colombia did a phenomenal job,” Feeley said during an April 26 talk at the Institute of the Americas. “They organized it well, they pushed a multi-lateral and a bi-lateral agenda that was forward-looking, that was focused on issues that mattered to ordinary citizens.”
Colombia (IGBC), Latin America’s murder capital when Pablo Escobar ran the Medellin drug cartel in the 1980s, produced the region’s best risk-adjusted stock returns over the past decade as improved security bolstered economic growth and foreign investment. … Colombia, the top performer also over five years and three years, had a volatility-adjusted return of almost six times that of the Bovespa gauge in Brazil in the past decade.
The Colombian Ambassador to the U.S., Gabriel Silva, was in San Diego this week to promote the free trade agreement between the two countries, which is set to take effect May 15. Prior to his role as ambassador, Silva served as Minister of Defense under former President Álvaro Uribe. Reporter Jill Replogle sat down with him to talk about the drug war.
Marriott International’s signature brand, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, announced today plans to open a new 170-room Marriott Hotel in Cali in 2014, under an agreement with Real Hotels and Resorts, S.A. and Grupo Poma. Situated on the corner of Avenida 8 Norte and Calle 9 in the heart of Colonia Granada, the Marriott Cali Hotel will be located in one of Cali’s most desirable areas filled with restaurants, bars and shops.
Colombia's Grupo Argos SA (INVERARGOS.BO) said its consolidated net profit in the first quarter was $125 million, a fourfold increase from that period a year earlier amid surging growth in the holding firm's most strategic sectors, cement and electricity.
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.
Institute of the Americas
Colombia is pushing back against terrorists and drug cartels that once dominated the country to emerge as a regional economic powerhouse built on foreign investment and trade, Colombian Ambassador to the U.S. Gabriel Silva Lujan said during an April 24 presentation at the Institute of the Americas. Just three weeks before the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement goes into effect, Silva told an audience of almost 80 that his country “is ready to enter a phase of rapid growth and expansion.”
Colombia plans to invest 1.3 trillion pesos (about $738.13 million) in housing programmes "for the poorest of the poor", which it is adding to the plan to provide 100,000 homes free to the most vulnerable among the population, President Juan Manuel Santos said. The president explained his housing strategy in his so-called "Agreement for Prosperity" No. 70, Saturday in Inirida, capital of the jungle province of Guainia, which borders Venezuela and Brazil.
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos passed an act that promises to improve natura ldisaster prevention and response Tuesday. "This Disaster Risk Management Act will allow us to have an articulated and organized policy to work on reducing risk in this country," said Santos.
Los Angeles Times
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.
The Colombian government gave $565,000 to an Awa indigenous community to encourage the cultivation of cocoa, said local media Monday. The funds were awarded to the central Colombian town of Ricaurte and its surrounding Awa communities. The action is part of a general effort by the Colombian government to encourage farmers to choose alternative crops to the highly lucrative coca plant - the base ingredient in cocaine production.
Many residents of Medellin walked, biked, or took buses and taxis to their destinations honoring the car-free day in Medellin, Colombia, Monday, April 23, 2012. It was the fifth straight year for the Day Without Cars campaign in which cars are banned for a day to promote alternative transportation as a way to reduce smog.
CNN Business 360 Blog
Buying real estate in Colombia is not the sort of thing that your local bank branch manager is likely to recommend. But to me it is a sensible, even prudent, macro-bet on a country which is the next star of Latin America. Colombia now takes its place alongside an Asian tiger like Indonesia and the future giant of South Africa in the CIVETS group of rapidly growing emerging markets.
[President Santos] has shown an unwavering commitment and has made this one of the priorities of his administration. With the launch of the De Cero a Siempre (From Zero to Forever) national strategy, President Santos, 60, aims to double the number of children under 5 who receive early education, from 600,000 to 1.2 million.
Colombia's exports surged in February, extending a boom in the country's overseas sales that is being driven by commodities like coal and oil. Exports for February rose 22.5% to $4.83 billion, the government's statistics agency, known as DANE, reported Monday. Exports of fuel and commodities rose 30% from a year earlier while sales of manufactured products rose 11.4%, Dane said.
A Bogota native was selected to be one of 8,000 people to carry the Olympic torch across the United Kingdom, ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games. "32-year-old Felipe Alviar-Baquero will run 300 meters with the flame through the town of Maidstone in southeast England. "I feel incredibly proud," he told Colombia Reports. "It's a complete privilege and honour."
President Santos: “[The drug issue] has a very high political sensitivity, and people like to play with people’s sensitivity, and so many times the discussion is not rational. It’s irrational. But if we discuss this in a rational way, with experts and say: ‘Well, okay, what we are doing? Is that the best thing that we can do? Or should we maybe explore other alternatives to see if we find a better one, where the cost to humanity and to thousands of victims of this drug problem could be less, and the cost for the countries could be less?’ And this is the discussion that I want to open.”
The unprecedented challenge posed by developing countries to the U.S. grip on the World Bank presidency will test industrial nations' commitment to an open selection process, former Colombian finance minister and nominee Jose Antonio Ocampo said on Tuesday. "We are putting the industrial countries to account ... if they are really committed to an open, merit-based system," Ocampo told an event hosted by the Center for Global Development and the Washington Post.
U.S. and Colombian leaders may announce this weekend that a free trade agreement between the two nations is ready for implementation. Senior administration officials on Wednesday would not say whether President Obama will confirm that the requirements of a Labor Action Plan have been fulfilled by Colombia and a date has been chosen for the trade agreement to go into force.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is using this weekend's Summit of the Americas to raise his profile on the world stage and showcase his nation's emergence from decades of drug-fueled rebel violence to become a Latin American investment magnet. The event in Colombia's historic Caribbean coastal city of Cartagena will include regional heads of state and U.S. President Barack Obama on his first trip to the Andean nation.
President Santos discusses Colombia's social and economic turnaround and relations between South America and the United States.
Colombia’s Congress last night passed bills to implement a free-trade accord with the U.S., advancing the agreement ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit this weekend for the Summit of the Americas. The Senate and lower house passed the legislation last night, Colombia’s trade ministry said in an e-mailed statement today.
“There is little question that Santos has emerged as a regional leader. This was his aspiration from the day he took office,” said Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue think tank in Washington. Since his August 2010 inauguration, Santos has mended frayed relations with Venezuela and Ecuador, brokered the return to Honduras of coup-ousted former President Manuel Zelaya, dispatched counternarcotics experts to train Mexicans and offered similar help to drug crime-besieged Central America.
The Nutresa factory, in a middle-class neighborhood in Colombia's capital, churns it out: countless chocolate bars and containers of ice cream. But Nutresa produces much more: It has grown into a food conglomerate — a $3 billion company with international affiliates and 30,000 workers. It's a Colombian company that is, in many ways, symbolic of the new Colombia.
Juan Manuel Santos, a leader known for a shrewd sense of political timing, is checking his watch as he sits down with TIME journalists at the Casa de Nariño palace in Bogotá. Colombia's President isn't being rude; it's just that any minute now, 250 km to the south, Marxist guerrillas will release their last 10 military and police hostages. ...The FARC's April 2 hostage release, part of an effort to initiate peace talks, was just the symbolism Santos needed before he hosts U.S. President Barack Obama and 31 other western-hemisphere heads of state at the Summit of the Americas in the Caribbean city of Cartagena on April 14 and 15. Like Moreno, Colombia and its 47 million people are emerging from a long, dark night of violence and isolation into what Santos tells TIME is a "changed reality completely out of anyone's imagination." Not just a recovered nation, he insists, but the new economic and diplomatic player on the Latin American calle, or street.
World Property Channel
It's only a starter, but Miami-based Brilla Group has become the first global player to commit and arrange a total $30 million to grow Colombia's luxury hospitality assets. …Brilla Group plans to increase the total investment package later this year. The Colombian Beachfront Hospitality Private Equity Fund will spend the money in the Colombia Caribbean Corridor.
Colombia is the seventh most attractive country in the world for mining investments, according to an industry report. Behre Dolbear's 2012 Ranking of Countries for Mining Investment assesses political risk and whether or not countries have "policies and business conditions [which] promote investment growth."
Money managers and analysts warn of tough times ahead as ongoing concerns about the euro zone debt crisis, high oil prices, and a slowdown in China threaten to bring the recent risk rally to a halt, but one analyst says Latin America is an area that may still prove profitable. … Carlos Caicedo, head of Latin America forecasting at Exclusive Analysis, told CNBC that investors should focus on Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and Mexico.
Famed Colombian artist Fernando Botero donated his sculpture "The Cat" to his hometown of Medellin Monday as the city prepares to celebrate his 80th birthday on April 19. "Enjoy it," Botero said as he unveiled the sculpture at the entrance of the public library that bears his name in the outskirts of the city.
Agence France Presse
All that glitters is gold under a new thermochemical process developed by Colombian engineers for color-tinting the precious metal to make it look like sapphires, rubies or emeralds. The tinting can increase the value of gold by a factor of five, meaning the chemically-altered precious metal is likely to appear in jewelers' display windows worldwide soon, according to University of Antioquia engineers.
Colombia's Minister of Mines and Energy Mauricio Cardenas announced he will meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at this month's Summit of the Americas. The goal of the meeting is to discuss energy issues relating to Colombia and the Americas and to promote the theme of the summit which is "Connecting the Americas."
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.
President Santos gives interview on Latin America's relationship with U.S.
Los Angeles Times
Despite strong opposition from his allies in the U.S. labor movement, President Obama said Sunday that he trusted Colombian authorities to improve protections for workers and union leaders as he cleared the final obstacle for implementation of a free trade agreement next month. The decision marks a victory for the U.S. business community, which has pushed the White House to increase commercial opportunities in Colombia's growing economy.
Foreign direct investment into Colombia continued to surge during the first three months of 2012, rising 30% compared with the same period of 2011 to $4.2 billion, according to data from Colombia's central bank. The country's oil and mining sectors remain the main driver of growth in foreign investment flows, accounting for nearly three-quarters of the total. Some $3.0 billion was invested in those sectors during the first quarter of 2012.
Visa To Open Office In Bogota In June Dow Jones
Credit-card company Visa Inc. (V) said Monday it plans to open an office in Bogota this June as it expands its electronic payments business into Colombia and neighboring Ecuador. "Colombia's economy is turning into one of the most solid in Latin America," Eduardo Erana, Visa's president for Latin America and the Caribbean, said in a statement.
Colombia's economy was projected to grow by 4.7% in 2012 in a new IMF report, published Tuesday. The International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook stated that Colombia will grow 4.7% in 2012 and 4.4% in 2013.
Brazil stock-exchange owner BM&FBovespa is in talks with Colombia and Peru to enter regional bourse MILA, Chile's Diario Financiero newspaper reported Friday. MILA, or the Integrated Latin American Market, combines the bourses of Chile, Colombia and Peru. Talks with the two countries are in initial phases, BM&FBovespa Chief Executive Edemir Pinto said during a visit to Chile to sign an agreement with the Santiago exchange, Diario Financiero said.
President Juan Manuel Santos spoke with Bret Baier on 'Special Report' about the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement and drug legalization.
CNN – U.S. Cable
President Juan Manuel Santos spoke with CNN reporter Dan Lothian about Cuba at the Summit of the Americas.
Colombia, once considered a nearly failed state only a decade ago, has been seeking to play a bigger role in regional affairs under the stewardship of President Juan Manuel Santos. With good relations in place with both its neighbors and theUnited States, and with a choreography of the sixth Summit of the Americas, the South American nation has shown a deft diplomacy, analysts say.
Hispanically Speaking News
The State Department announced an increase in the validity of visas for Colombians traveling on a temporary basis to the United States from five years to ten years. This means that most Colombian applicants who qualify for a B-category non-immigrant visa may be issued a 120-month, multiple-entry visa. This extension of visa validity is supporting of the expanding partnership between the United States and Colombia on a broad array of issues, which has resulted in increased exchanges for tourism and business.
US President Barack Obama and his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos agreed Sunday to deepen their security cooperation in the Western Hemisphere and West Africa. The efforts, formalized under a US-Colombia Action Plan on Regional Security Cooperation, are a response to "increasing insecurity generated by transnational organized crime," the US State Department said in a statement.
President Barack Obama is praising the free trade agreement between the United States and Colombia, saying it includes protections for workers and the environment that will serve as a "win" for both countries. Obama and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said at a joint news conference that the tradedeal will go into effect May 15.
A free trade agreement between the United States and Colombia is set to take effect next month, leaders of both countries said Sunday at the Summit of the Americas in Colombia. The United States and Colombia agreed to the pact last year, but implementation was contingent on Colombia taking a series of steps to improve workers' rights.
The Bogota Gold Museum houses the world's largest collection of pre-Hispanic goldwork, making it one of Colombia's most historically important museums. "The story of humanity over the last 9000 years is the story of metals...It is with these that we built the world of today," says a video installation accompanying the Gold museum's collection.
Colombian filmmaker Jonathan Ceballos will attend the Cannes International Film Festival to show his short film "The Children of the Clouds" (Los Ahijiados de las Nubes), about a sponsorship program that changed the lives of children in a rural town in central Colombia.