March 26, 2018- News Clips - Weeklong Celebration of Colombia’s Diversity and Unique Friendship with the United States Runs through April 22 in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. — From April 14 through April 22, 2018, festivities across Washington, D.C., will celebrate Colombia’s many diverse cultures, rhythms, colors, flavors and traditions – or sabrosura – and the enduring, ever-expanding U.S.-Colombia friendship.
 
“From our unique Carnival performers to the rich diversity of our artists and authors, we are excited to celebrate Colombian sabrosura here in the capital of our close friend, the United States,” said Colombian Ambassador to the United States Camilo Reyes. “We welcome visitors from near and far to come celebrate Colombian culture and friendship in Washington, D.C., next month.”
 
“We are proud to showcase the diversity and richness of the Colombian culture through a sample of our music, arts, design and cuisine. We hope that after experiencing a little of the Colombian sabrosura throughout the week’s events, more Americans will be ready to join the over six million travelers from around the world who visited our country last year,” said Felipe Jaramillo, President of ProColombia.
 
Here’s how residents of and visitors to Washington, D.C., can experience ‘Colombia: Land of Sabrosura On Tour, Washington D.C.’
 
CARNIVAL
Saturday, April 14, 2018, during the National Cherry Blossom Parade
Dating back to the 16th century, the Carnival is Colombia’s largest carnival celebration in the south of the country and takes place in Pasto. Colombia’s famed Carnival of Blacks and Whites will be featured in the National Cherry Blossom Parade on Saturday, April 14 and will then perform at Union Market on Sunday, April 22.
 
ART
Monday, April 16 – Friday, April 20, 2018, at The Organization of American States AMA | Art Museum of the Americas
With an exhibition of art and photography at the AMA | Art Museum of the Organization of American States (OAS), the works of Colombian women artists will be featured. This year, the OAS celebrates its 70th anniversary.
 
MUSIC
Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at Lincoln Theatre
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Colombian artists, including Gregorio Uribe and his Big Band, along with our Carnival from Pasto, will get the party started with their music filled with tropical rhythms and a mix between Andean rhythms, champeta, rock and pop.
 
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
(Private Event)
Thinking about the future of Colombia and its economic partnership with the United States, Colombian Government will lead a panel discussion with U.S. business leaders at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
 
LITERATURE
Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at the Library of Congress
2:00pm – 9:00pm
Manuscripts, first editions and one-of-a-kind pieces from some of our nation’s most iconic artists and authors will be on display this week at the Library of Congress. Pictures from the Library’s private collection and recordings of Gabriel García Márquez and Juan Gabriel Vásquez will also be available for viewing and listening.
 
DIPLOMACY
Thursday, April 19, 2018, in Rayburn House Office Building Foyer
9:00am – 2:00pm
Capitol Hill will experience some of the flavors – including coffee, cacao and panela –that make Colombia unique and are instrumental to promoting peace. Lawmakers will learn about the success of Peace Agreement implementation and how Colombia is promoting new agricultural products to fulfill the demand for rural jobs and transform illegal crops into profitable ones.
 
FASHION
Thursday, April 19, 2018, at the Residence of the Colombian Ambassador
(Private Event)
Striking handmade products and garments crafted from unique traditional techniques define Colombian fashion, which has helped transform the lives of the Colombian women from a wide range of ethnic groups. In partnership with LATIN CURATED, 13 Colombian designers will dress 13 women from the Washington social, cultural and diplomatic worlds in a fashion showcase of innovative design and unparalleled quality.
 
BIODIVERSITY
Monday, April 16 – Friday, April 20, 2018, at Tudor Place
Colombia is the second most biologically diverse country on Earth and is home to about 10 percent of all kinds of the world’s species. Through a display of its most iconic flower, the orchid, at Tudor Place, Colombia’s rich biodiversity will be on display. The weeklong exhibition will feature photographs from the historic Humboldt expedition along with a multimedia exhibition by Orquideas. The Ambassador and his wife will visit the exhibition on the morning of Friday, April 20.
 
CARNIVAL
Sunday, April 22, 2018, at Union Market
10:00am
After being featured in the National Cherry Blossom Parade on April 14, Carnival performers will turn Union Market into Colombia’s famed Carnival of Blacks and Whites on Sunday, April 22. 

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March 23, 2018- News Clips -

Washington, DC –Camilo Reyes, Embajador de Colombia en Estados Unidos, agradeció hoy a los miembros del Congreso de Estados Unidos por la aprobación en el presupuesto de este país de $ 391.25 millones para apoyar una serie de iniciativas Colombianas que avanzarán en la transición del país a la paz. Esas iniciativas, que reflejan una fuerte cooperación bilateral entre Colombia y los Estados Unidos, se centran en una serie de áreas, como: educación,  desarrollo económico, capacitación militar, antiterrorismo, remoción de minas y control internacional de estupefacientes.
 
"Aplaudimos al Congreso y a la Administración Trump, y agradecemos a los muchos líderes de la Cámara y el Senado que apoyaron los recursos para Colombia y votaron a favor del proyecto de ley de gastos. Estos recursos demuestran la fortaleza de nuestra alianza y las prioridades de seguridad compartidas. Avanzaremos en la construcción de una paz estable y duradera en Colombia.
 
"Colombia es un aliado importante de Estados Unidos en América Latina. Estados Unidos puede contar con Colombia para un apoyo continuo que enfrenta los desafíos de seguridad, tanto en nuestra región como en todo el mundo. Como nación en paz, somos un socio aún más fuerte de los Estados Unidos.
 
"Reconocemos a los legisladores su apoyo y esperamos seguir trabajando estrechamente con el Congreso y la Administración para maximizar los beneficios de la relación entre los Estados Unidos y Colombia".
 
Asegurar recursos para Colombia ha sido una prioridad para la Embajada. Desde agosto de 2017, el Embajador Reyes ha tenido más de 80 reuniones con miembros del Congreso, incluso con líderes y miembros de los Comités de Asignaciones de la Cámara y el Senado, así como con los Comités de Relaciones Exteriores del Senado y de Relaciones Exteriores de la Cámara. Reyes, también ha realizado más de 30 eventos en la residencia de Colombia que han contribuido a mostrar la transformación del país y la necesidad de seguir contando con los Estados Unidos como nuestro aliado estratégico. 

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March 6, 2018- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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March 1, 2018- News Clips - VII High Level Dialogue Colombia - USA is chaired by the Chancellor of Colombia María Angela Holguin, Assistant Secretary of State for Political Affairs of the United States, Thomas Shannon, and Deputy National Security Adviser, General Waddell.

 

 

 

 

 
The U.S. and Colombian governments have developed and formalized a deepened, multifaceted bilateral engagement through the U.S.-Colombia High-Level Partnership Dialogue – a forum which facilitates collaboration in a new and broad range of issues such as energy, science and technology, climate change and environmental protection, culture and education, social opportunities, good governance and democracy and human rights.

 

 

 

 
This forum, headed by Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs Maria Angela Holguin and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, first convened in Bogotá, Colombia in October 2010. The second session was held in Washington, D.C. in May 2011. The following are examples of specific activities developed by the different high-level working groups:

 

Energy
Improve collaboration in the regulatory and technical development of alternatives to hydrocarbons such as shale gas and methane gas, creating synergy in initiatives within the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA), sharing best practices in energy efficiency, and supporting institutional development in mining, particularly those related to security and control processes.
 

Science, Technology and Innovation
Identify mechanisms for cooperation and strengthening capacities on scientific areas such as: health, environment, agriculture, earth, atmosphere and space.
 

Biodiversity, Environmental Protection and Climate Change
Promote work in various areas, including prioritization of actions in climate change adaptation, support for the development of information systems on matters such as fisheries and forestry, and strengthening of practices in integrated forest management, incentives to prevent deforestation, and the National System of Protected Areas, among others.
 

Education, Culture and Sport
Encourage the advancement of joint interests through information sharing on best practices about the use of projects such as “training trainers,” increasing the number of exchange students between the two countries, and improving collaboration between Colombian institutions and community colleges in the United States, among others.
 

Economic and Social Opportunities
Promote and share experience in entrepreneurship, productive efficiency, mobile banking, among others.

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March 5, 2018- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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February 20, 2018- News Clips - Outlook on the Americas at the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America and the Caribbean (AACCLA) 

 
·       Good afternoon. On behalf of the Embassy and the Government of Colombia, I thank the AACCLA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for the opportunity to participate in today’s important discussion.
 
·       Both organizations are vital to the continued growth of Colombia and our entire region.
 
·       Last year, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, we launched the U.S.-Colombia Business Council – an official platform between our two countries to advance economic growth and development.
               
·       The successful U.S.-Mexico Business Council was the model for our new business council, and we appreciate the Chamber’s leadership for bringing the idea to fruition.
 
·       Today, I am honored to sit alongside my colleagues to talk about the future of the Pacific Alliance, its role in the region and how it can be a catalyst for further economic integration.
 
·       The Pacific Alliance is an open and innovative platform for expanding economic integration across Latin America and increasing the global competiveness of our four countries and the region.
 
·       Our countries are recognized globally as the most stable and dynamic democracies in Latin America, with the best prospects for economic growth and attracting foreign direct investment, or FDI, in the near future.
 
·       In relative terms, the Alliance as a bloc is the 8th largest economy in the world, accounts for 35 percent of global GDP and receives 41 percent of FDI in Latin America.
 
·       Combined, the Alliance countries comprise an integrated market of 225 million consumers with a GDP of nearly $2.2 trillion.
 
·       This is not just good for the Alliance countries, but also for the entire region, which benefits from integrated supply chains.
 
·       The Alliance allows the incorporation of intermediate goods and inputs from any member country in the final good for export, with preferential treatment for any of the member countries. This is creating an expansive market that responds to modern production systems and facilitates regional and global supply chains.
 
·       Market access is a key component of the Alliance trade protocol.
 
·       Moving forward, there are many promising opportunities for the Alliance. These include:
 
·       Ventanilla Única de Comercio Exterior (Single Window of Foreign Trade): With the support of the Inter-American Development Bank, the IDB, the countries developed an interoperability Single Window of Foreign Trade platform, which enables the exchange of phytosanitary certificates virtually. Integrating this further will be key.
 
·       Customs Cooperation: Another important issue to advance is trade facilitation through increased customs cooperation. The countries decided to start working toward facilitating and increasing trade in the pharmaceutical and food supplements sectors, through the harmonization of technical and sanitary requirements and the elimination of those considered unnecessary.
 
·       In addition, the Entrepreneurial Capital Fund of the Alliance has been created jointly by the IDB and the IDB Multilateral Investment Fund to facilitate financing and investment in small and medium-sized enterprises and in Alliance projects that contribute to their growth and competitiveness.
 
·       Equally important is the opportunity to create the Angels Investors Network “AngeLAP” and the Business Accelerator of the Pacific Alliance, “AcelerAP.” Both will seek to connect entrepreneurs with support entities that help strengthen their projects and competitiveness.
 
·       As for technical barriers to trade, the Alliance is developing a trademark classification tool to develop and implement further protection of intellectual property.
 
·       With opportunities, come challenges, however.
 
·       There is an existential one: nations continue looking more inward than outward with respect to trade.
 
·       However, the Alliance is such a clear example of the benefits of economic integration that we have a compelling case to make for expanding free and fair global trade.
 
·       A “next step" of the body will be pursuing free trade agreements with nations in the Asia-Pacific region.
 
·       When Colombia assumed the pro tempore presidency of the Alliance during last year’s Summit in Cali, President Santos underscored the importance of developing a network of innovation agencies.
 
·       He also remarked that: “We are going to register the creation of a common fund to finance infrastructure, we are going to open the Alliance to associate members so that we can establish different relations with interested observers to affiliate in some way with the four countries that have the most dynamic economies in Latin America.”
 
·       President Santos also noted why we should work to improve the student and academic mobility platform and strengthen consumer protection.
 
·       It is clear that our countries, together, can reinforce the Alliance as a strategic platform for economic and commercial integration in our region and across the Pacific.
 
·       Thank you for your focus on the future of the Alliance and hosting this discussion.
 
 

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February 14, 2018- Colombia in Focus Newsletters -
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February 7, 2018- News Clips - Washington, DC — On the sixth day of his first multicountry trip to Latin America and the Caribbean, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Colombia. He arrived in Bogotá yesterday afternoon, where he met with President Juan Manuel Santos, Minister of Foreign Affairs María Ángela Holguín and U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Kevin Whitaker.

Topping the agenda were Colombian Peace Agreement implementation, U.S. support for Colombia’s accession to the OECD, advancing the bilateral economic partnership and shared responsibility in the fight against drugs. Following their meeting, President Santos and Secretary Tillerson participated in a joint press availability. 
 
President Santos stated: 

 

“We just had a very productive meeting with the Secretary of State of the United States, Rex Tillerson. … Colombia - you have been able to see it firsthand - is making progress in the construction of peace. This is a complex process - a process that takes time - and, although we have enormous challenges ahead, the fruits are being seen.

“… Throughout this process we have had the firm and determined support of the United States, a bipartisan, effective and unwavering support. That is why we deeply appreciate the support of the administration of President Trump at this crucial stage in our history as a nation.

"In this meeting with Secretary Tillerson we reviewed the various topics of our rich binational agenda, and we also talked about the work we have been doing on issues of interest to both countries.

“… Commercial ties between our countries are becoming stronger. Since the entry into force of the free trade agreement, U.S. investment in Colombia has exceeded $2.3 trillion. More than 230 companies from the United States are investing today in our country. And we are happy to see that every day there are more Colombian products arriving in the U.S. market.

“As of November last year, Colombia exported $3.73 billion in non-mining-energy goods to the United States. … The private sector plays a key role in promoting trade and investment, and that is why we value the role of the U.S.-Colombia Business Council, which brings together 40 of the most important business leaders of the two countries.

“On the other hand, spaces such as the High Level Dialogue have generated important results in terms of cooperation on key issues such as energy, education, rural development, science and technology.

“Colombia is beginning to take advantage of its full potential. We have a long way to go, but we have made very important progress on crucial issues such as the fight against poverty, the development of infrastructure and the growth of our economy.

“We want to continue advancing along the path of development, and a very important element of that process is our entry into the OECD. We thank Secretary Tillerson for his support in completing our accession process.

“Colombia and the United States share the values of democracy and freedoms that our forefathers left us from their respective homelands, as well as the interest of consolidating an increasingly prosperous and increasingly secure region.

“We have a broad and diverse agenda, and we look forward to continuing to work with you and the administration of President Trump to further deepen our great relationship - a relationship that is more than friends and partners rather than allies and partners.”

 

 

Regarding the global fight against drugs, President Santos said the problem is an issue on which, we agree with you, Secretary Tillerson, our countries have a shared responsibility. There is no supply without demand, or demand without supply. The President noted that as part of the "frank and open" dialogue, he discussed the actions Colombia has undertaken and the results achieved to date through the aggressive, comprehensive counternarcotics strategy Colombia began implementing last year and in coordination with the United States.

Secretary Tillerson’s visit comes after the Vice President Pence’s visit in August and President Santos’s meeting with President Trump at the White House last May.

 

 

 

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February 6, 2018- News Clips - Washington, DC — As part of his first multi-country trip to Latin America and the Caribbean, which kicks last week, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is visiting Colombia. He arrived in Bogotá today Tuesday, February 6, where he is going to meet with President Juan Manuel Santos.  Chief among the issues to be discussed is the status of Colombian Peace Agreement implementation, which has been under way for just one year, and milestones achieved thus far. Also expected to top the agenda is Colombia’s accession to the OECD and U.S. support for this major step forward, which would strengthen the South American nation’s economic position in the global economy. “As we continue building a stable and lasting peace, we are grateful for the long-standing bilateral partnership and bipartisan support from the United States. The United States supported Plan Colombia, which laid the foundation for peace, and today, Peace Colombia provides resources and the foundation for Colombia’s forward momentum,” said Ambassador of Colombia to the United States Camilo Reyes, who is joining President Santos and the Colombian delegation welcoming Secretary Tillerson. “Now a nation at peace, Colombia is better positioned to work hand in hand with the United States and achieve even more together for the people of our two nations and the region,” said Reyes. In addition to meeting with President Santos and participating in a joint press availability with him, Secretary Tillerson has meetings with his counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs María Ángela Holguín, and U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Kevin Whitaker. The Secretary’s visit comes after the Vice President’s visit in August and President Santos’s meeting with President Trump at the White House last May.  

Washington, DC — As part of his first multi-country trip to Latin America and the Caribbean, which kicks last week, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is visiting Colombia. He arrives in Bogotá today Tuesday, February 6, where he is going to meet with President Juan Manuel Santos. 

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January 31, 2018- News Clips - Ambassador Reyes Honors Philanthropist and Business Leader Adrienne Arsht 

Washington, DC — Last night, Colombian Ambassador to the United States Camilo Reyes hosted a reception at his Residence to honor Adrienne Arsht, Executive Vice Chair of the Atlantic Council and founder of its Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, for her commitment to Colombia and the region as a whole.  

Ambassador Reyes said: 

 

 

“I am privileged, both personally and professionally, to honor a true friend of Colombia and all of Latin America.

“… By far one of her most important contributions to the region and its relationship with the United States is the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center. Through its forums, research and thought leadership, the Center broadens awareness of the transformational political, economic and social changes throughout Latin America.

“… Ms. Arsht’s leadership was fundamental in the creation and development of the Colombia Peace and Prosperity Task Force, an impressive group comprising senior policymakers from current and former Administrations, the Ambassadors of Colombia and the United States, leaders of the private sector and experts from civil society.”

 

 

Last May, the Task Force – which is co-chaired by Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland and Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri – provided a road map for continued bilateral strategy between Colombia and the United States.

Jason Marczak, Director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, noted: 

 

 

“All eyes are on Latin America as three of the region’s largest democracies choose leaders that will guide the next stage of a rapidly and positively evolving Latin America. This is the time to double down on Latin America’s leadership – Adrienne Arsht’s vision and support make possible our Center’s ongoing efforts to move policy in the direction that will allow long-term prosperity in Latin America at a time of global uncertainty.”

 

 

During the event, Ambassador Reyes presented Ms. Arsht with Colombia’s “La Orden de San Carlos,” the highest honor from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which recognizes the extraordinary contributions made by an individual to Colombia and our close alliance with the United States. Created in 1954, the award is reserved for Colombian citizens, foreign civilians and military officers to recognize their accomplishments and contributions to Colombia in the field of diplomacy and international relations.

 

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