Colombia has moved from IT outsourcing's blacklist to towards the top of the A-list, driven by factors including improved security, business friendly economic policies and a high level of human capital, according to a new report by Latin American IT outsourcing association Nearshore Americas.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Colombia has gone up 2.4% in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same period last year, the country’s central bank announced Friday. In total, Colombia received $3.706 billion in foreign investment in the first three months of the year, said the central bank. In the first quarter of 2012, this was $3.617 billion.
Foreign visits to Colombia increased 4.6% in the first months of 2013 compared to the same period last year, according to statistics of the country’s Trade Ministry. According to the ministry’s monthly statistics, nearly 685 thousand foreigners visited Colombia between January and April. Last year, the country received little more than 654 thousand foreign visitors.
NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow and the Defence Minister of Colombia, Juan Carlos Pinzon Bueno, on Tuesday ( 25 June 2013) signed an Agreement on the Security of Information, an accord that will allow NATO and Colombia to explore future cooperation and consultation in areas of common interest. "As an Alliance of democracies, we are gratified when countries sharing similar values reach out to us," the Deputy Secretary General said during his meeting with Minister Pinzon Bueno.
Four of Colombia’s cities were recently ranked among top 25 destinations in South America by travel website Trip Advisor. Among Trip Advisor’s “Top 25 destinations – South America,” were the Colombian cities of Cartagena, Bogota, Santa Marta and Cali.
Seventeen years ago, Andrés Angulo, a recently graduated doctor, rented an apartment, bought a whiteboard, and began training nurses and medical technicians. His first class was anatomy and he had just two students. Today, Campoalto, the educational institute he started with two colleagues, has eight campuses across Colombia’s capital, more than 8,000 active students and can boast more than 20,000 alumni. It has become the nation’s largest vocational health training school and has evolved beyond healthcare education to provide classes on auto mechanics, cooking and clothing manufacturing, among others. And soon, it will be operating in Miami.
South Florida Business Journal
Jetblue Airways passengers can now book flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Medellin, Colombia. The airline launched the new route on Thursday and until June 17, customers can book fares as low as $164 one-way for travel between Sept. 5 and Nov. 7.
Wall Street Journal
A senior executive at U.S. discount carrier Spirit Airlines Inc. is leaving to take the helm of Colombian startup carrier VivaColombia, highlighting the global expansion of the ultra-low-cost airline model. Spirit Executive Vice President Barry Biffle will become chief executive in August of VivaColombia, a far smaller carrier based in Medellín that is backed by the same investor group behind many of the ultra-low-cost airlines that have also sprung up in Europe and Asia.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Wednesday invited Israeli businesses to invest in the South American nation during a trade seminar in Tel Aviv. “Together we can create a tremendous synergy. That is why I wanted to come and express our interest, because we have many opportunities. We have many things that you need and you have many things that we need,” Santos declared during the last official meeting of his visit to Israel.
On Monday, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos finalized a free trade deal with Israel during a meeting with Israeli Head of State Shimon Peres. The conclusion of the free trade agreement with Israel comes after 15 months of negotiations with the Middle Eastern nation. The agreement is now subject to ratification by both Colombian and Israeli parliament.
A Colombian naval ship is visiting Honolulu starting this weekend. The three-masted ARC Gloria is making a port call at Aloha Tower starting Friday. It's scheduled to stay through Tuesday. The large sailing ship is a training vessel of the Colombian Naval School. It also serves as an ambassador of Colombia while abroad.
Wall Street Journal
Colombia produced 1.01 million barrels of oil a day in May, a sharp rise from the same month of 2012 and little changed from the previous four months of this year. The Mines and Energy Ministry said in a statement crude oil output last month was 8.3% higher from the 935,000 barrels a day it produced in May 2012. So far this year, production has averaged just above or just below the 1 million-barrel-a-day mark, which is the government's target production rate.
Wall Street Journal
Last week, during a five-day trip through Latin America and the Caribbean, I visited a cut-flower farm outside Bogota, Colombia, an hour's drive from downtown that would have been impossibly dangerous 10 years ago. Along the way I passed office parks, movie theaters and subdivisions, interspersed with small ranches and family businesses. At the flower farm, one-quarter of the workers are female heads of households. The carnations and roses they were clipping would arrive in U.S. stores within days, duty free.
Policy reforms, improved security and a commodities boom have lead to Colombia’s emergence as one of Latin America’s investment hotspots - but challenges still lie ahead.