Colombia – United States FTA Turns 1 Year Old
The U.S. – Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) turned 1 year old on May 15. There were numerous events to commemorate the date including the visit by the Acting Secretary of Commerce, Dr. Rebecca Blank, leading an infrastructure mission of 20 U.S. companies. President Santos celebrated the FTA’s first birthday in Cartagena, where he had welcomed the FTA’s entry into force with the first shipment of Colombian products the year before. Over 114,000 containers passed through the Cartagena Port since the FTA entered into force – over 5,000 containers more than the previous year. U.S. exports to Colombia have increased 20% from May 15, 2012 through February 2013 relative to 2011.
Colombia Third Destination of FDI in Latin America
According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, ECLAC, Colombia ranked third in the region last year as an FDI destination, attracting US$15.8 billion. Brazil was the principal destination with US$ 65.2 billion and Chile ranked second with US$ 30.2 billion.
Coal Production Declined
During the 1Q of the year, coal production in Colombia declined to 18.4 million tons, or 21.4% less than during the same period of the previous year.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/107EIOS
Colombian Exports Fell 20% in March
According to the Colombian National Statistics Department, March 2013 exports to the world fell 20% relative to the same month of the previous year. Colombian exports in March totaled US$ 4.5 billion.
April 2013 Inflation Rate 0.25%
The inflation rate for April was 0.25%. The accumulated inflation from January to April was 1.21%, which was 0.41% less than the accumulated inflation during the same period of the previous year.
Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank to visit Colombia
To commemorate one year anniversary of the U.S. – Colombia free trade agreement, the U.S. Acting Secretary of Commerce will lead an infrastructure trade mission scheduled to arrive to Bogota on Tuesday May 14th.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/13n8kfg
Colombia Has 2.37 Billion Barrels of Oil Reserves
According to official figures issued by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, as of December 2012, Colombia had 2.37 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. In comparison with 2011, the country showed an increase in reserves of 5.22%. According to Minister of Mines and Energy Federico Renjifo, Colombia has oil reserves for the next 6.9 years if current production levels are maintained.
March Unemployment Rate 10.2%
Compared to March 2011, Colombia’s national unemployment rate decreased 0.2% and there were 50,000 new workers added to the workforce. The director of the Colombian National Statistics Department (DANE) attributed this decrease to the economy’s good performance.
Talisman to Sell its Stake in Ocensa Oil Pipeline
Talisman Energy Inc., a Canadian oil and gas producer, has decided to sell its stake in Colombia’s Ocensa oil pipeline. The Ocensa pipeline transports 650,000 barrels of oil per day from Colombia’s interior to its Caribbean coast. Talisman currently has a 12.15% stake in the pipeline and expects to find a buyer in the next six months.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/18B9Ae6
S&P Raises Colombian Credit Rating
Standard & Poor’s upgraded Colombia’s sovereign credit rating to BBB from BBB minus, with a stable outlook. S&P noted that a strong financial profile, growing domestic capital markets, and favorable long-term GDP growth expectations have strengthened Colombia’s creditworthiness.
Mexico to Join the MILA Market
The Mexican government is proposing financial reforms that include changes needed to become a member of the Latin American Integrated Market (MILA in Spanish). The stock markets of Peru, Chile, and Colombia are already integrated in the MILA, with the participation of more than 500 companies. Mexico’s announcement is an additional step in the Pacific Alliance’s integration strategy.
Fist Road Concession Projects Receive Proposals
The Colombian National Infrastructure Agency has received 32 proposals for the first two projects opened for bids as part of the country’s new road concessions. The two projects are the roads between Girardot-Puerto Salgar and Mulalo-Loboguerrero for a combined value of US$ 3 billion dollars. Companies from Spain, Italy, Brazil, France, Mexico, Austria, and China have submitted proposals.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/Y2sPvM
This space offers an opportunity for U.S. companies to share best practices and highlight programs on environmental protection. Included is information from U.S. companies with operations in Colombia that manufacture environmentally friendly products or green technologies, or whose social responsibility programs include an environmental focus.
We thank the companies that have already accepted our invitation to tell their stories.
If your U.S. company operating in Colombia would like us to include information on actions you have taken to protect our planet, please post your contact information in the comments section.
To enter company’s information, click on the logo.
Please click here to see the video of the launching event on April 22nd of 2013 presided by the Ambassador of the United States in Colombia, Michael McKinley, and the Colombian Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Juan Gabriel Uribe. Six American companies also presented their environmental initiatives - http://goo.gl/ueHVi
Colombian Government Introduces Economic Stimulus Plan
President Santos announced April 16 new measures aimed at boosting economic growth and slowing peso appreciation. Under its US$ 2.74 billion “Support Plan for Productivity and Employment (PIPE),” the GOC hopes to achieve 4.8% GDP growth this year. Among the most important measures are: an exchange rate target of 1,900 Colombian pesos per dollar (the current exchange rate is 1,825 pesos per dollar); employer payroll tax reductions; increased infrastructure investment; interest rate reductions from 12.5% to 7% for mortgages on new houses; and the hiring of 2,500 new policemen.
Colombian Poverty Rate Fell to 32.7% in 2012
According to the Colombian National Statistics Department, the poverty rate for 2012 decreased to 32.7% from 34.1% in 2011. Poverty in urban areas dropped from 30.3% to 28.4%. However, poverty in rural areas rose from 46.1% to 46.8%. Extreme poverty decreased 0.2% to 10.4%. Press reported President Santos’s statement that some 1.7 million people had been lifted out of poverty during his administration.
Colombian Companies on Forbes 2,000 Biggest Companies List
Five Colombian companies were included among the top 2,000 biggest companies ranked by Forbes Magazine in 2013. Due to the good performance of the Colombian stock exchange, all five companies climbed positions in this year’s ranking. The five companies included are: Ecopetrol (oil); Bancolombia (banking); Grupo Aval (banking); Davivienda (banking); and Argos (cement). Rankings range from 114 (Ecopetrol) to 1,594 (Argos).
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/XLBbrj
For the latest Colombian Macroeconomic Indicators please visit – http://bit.ly/YR1MnT
Colombia 66th of 144 Countries in Technology Development
According to the World Economic Forum’s 2013 Global Information Technology Report, Colombia climbed from 73rd to 66th among 144 countries on the Networked Readiness Index.
Proexport, the Colombian export and investment promotion agency, launched its new campaign to attract foreign tourists to Colombia. The goal is to double the number of visitors by 2014 to four million, which will generate an estimated US$4 billion in revenue.
Inflation for March 0.21%
Inflation for the first quarter of this year came in at 0.95%. The Colombian Central Bank’s inflation target for 2013 is 3 percent. The three sectors with the highest price increases during March were: communications (1.85%), health (0.67%) and transportation (0.54%).
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/ZQO4Ux
2012 FDI into Colombia Totaled US $15.8 Billion
According to the Ministry of Trade, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flow into Co-lombia reached a record high of US $15.8 billion in 2012. This figure represents an increase of 17.8% over 2011 FDI. FDI in industry totaled US $2 billion, a growth of 159%, while FDI in non oil or mining sectors totaled US $8.12 billion.
Central Bank Cuts Interest Rate to Boost Economic Activity
The Colombian Central Bank reduced its interest rate to 3.25%, the fifth con-secutive decrease since July 2012, bringing the current rate to its lowest level since February 2005. The Bank’s board of directors made the decision in an at-tempt to boost economic activity in response to the Colombian economy’s levels of growth, which are currently below the country’s economic potential.
Colombia’s 2012 Foreign Debt Grew 3.6%
Although Colombia’s foreign debt grew 3.6% in 2012, the increase was consid-erably lower than in 2011 (17.2%) and 2010 (20.5%). Private and public foreign debt in 2012 grew by US $2.7 billion.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/10ARDL2