Colombian Economy Grew 4% in 2012
The Colombian National Statistics Department (DANE) announced that the country’s GDP growth rate for 2012 was 4%. This result surprised many, as the Ministry of Finance had projected a growth of 3.8%. The sectors that led the growth were mining (5.9%), financial services (5.5%), commerce (4.1%), and transportation (4%). Meanwhile, industry (-0.7%) and agriculture (2.6%) had the poorest performances.
Post-FTA Trade Missions Indicate Increased Interest
Since the FTA between Colombia and the U.S. entered into force on May 15, 2012, 13 trade missions from the U.S. have visited Colombia, highlighting an increased interest among U.S. companies in the Colombian market . The trade missions have focused on a range of issues such as private equity and franchises and have represented states such as Florida, Massachusetts, and North Dakota.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/165RFwN
For those who weren’t able to join us for the U.S. Ambassador’s webinar on Tuesday about investment and trade opportunities related to Colombian infrastructure, please click the following link for a recording of the presentation, including both audio and the PowerPoint slides: http://conx.adobeconnect.com/p2azn3u3y9g/.
If you would like to download the slides, including the presentation by guest speaker Dr. Luis Andrade, President of Colombia’s National Infrastructure Agency (ANI), please click here: http://bit.ly/WZxdx8
Colombia Opens Bid Process on 4G Communication Services
The Government of Colombia announced April 16 as the deadline for compa-nies to submit applications to participate in the bid process on licenses to pro-vide 4G (seven licenses) and 3G (one license) services in the country. Bidding rules and technical specifications were published on March 11. Additional information is available at the following web site: http://bit.ly/SA0SJ9.
Colombia’s Trade Agenda with the Pacific Alliance
Colombia will assume the Pro Tempore Presidency of the Pacific Alliance dur-ing the Alliance’s presidential summit on May 23 in Cali. Colombia has been courting possible future member countries Costa Rica and Panama. Colom-bia and Panama resumed bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations this week and Colombia concluded FTA negotiations with Costa Rica on March 8.
Cites: USA and Colombia Back Protecting Sharks
In support of a proposal co-sponsored by the United States and Colombia, CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) parties voted to include the oceanic whitetip shark on a protected list (Appendix II). The CITES Appendix II list requires permits to ensure exports are sustainable and legal.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/ZbKFID
El Servicio Comercial de la Embajada de los Estados Unidos en Colombia anuncia que estará apoyando el NAB Show 2013, que se llevará a cabo en Las Vegas, NV, del 6 al 11 de abril de 2013.
Al registrarse con la delegación del Servicio Comercial de la Embajada de los EE.UU., usted obtiene los siguientes beneficios:
- Pase de ingreso a las exposiciones (valor de $150)
- Descuento de $100 en el registro del Flex Pass Conference
- Una copia del 2013 NAB Show Export Interest Guide
- Una invitación a la Recepción Internacional de NAB
- Acceso exclusivo al Centro de Comercio Internacional (International Trade Center-ITC), el cual ofrece Wi-fi, computadores, salas de reuniones, refrescos y copias de publicaciones de la industria.
Para unirse a esta delegación, simplemente debe dirigirse a la página web del NAB Show , (http://bit.ly/TGKgjV), registrarse y usar el Código de Delegación ID87.
Para preguntas acerca de este evento: Carlos.Suarez@trade.gov
Win-Win Trade from June through December of 2012:
- U.S. exports to Colombia totaled $10 billion, a 17.6% increase over the same period in 2011.
- U.S. imports from Colombia totaled $13.7 billion, a 1.3 % decrease compared to 2011 (Many Colombian exports already benefited from ATPDEA preferences prior to the FTA and the U.S. economy contracted the last three months of 2012).
- Colombia was the fourth most significant destination of U.S. exports in Latin America.
- The U.S. remained the primary destination of Colombian exports.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/WE6nur
Fitch Revises Colombia’s Outlook to Positive
The international ratings company upgraded its outlook for the Colombian economy from stable to positive. The country’s current BBB- rating is the lowest level for an investment grade status, but the improved outlook opens the door for a future rating upgrade.
Cerrejon Labor Strike Ends
Cerrejon, Colombia’s largest coal producer, reached an agreement with workers ending a 29-day labor strike that resulted in company losses of approximately 60 million dollars.
Inflation for February 0.44
According to Colombia’s National Statistics Department, the monthly inflation rate for February was 0.44%, which is the lowest rate for the last five years. The Colombian government inflation goal for 2013 is 3%.
Five Colombian Billionaires on Forbes Most Wealthy List
Colombia has five billionaires in Forbes’ recently released 2013 ranking of the world’s richest people. In order: Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo (64th – Banking), Alejandro Santo Domingo (82nd – Diversified Investments), Carlos Ardila Lulle (225th – Beverages), Jaime Gilinski (613th – Banking), and Woods Staton (1,268th – Restaurants).
Colombia and Costa Rica Conclude FTA Negotiations
The two countries successfully concluded negotiations for an FTA and plan to sign the official document May 23 during the next Pacific Alliance meeting in Cali. The agreement is expected to enter into force in 2014 or 2015 and will immediately eliminate duties on 75 percent of industrial products and 60 percent of agricultural products.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/Y4EtFT
Please join us for the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá’s upcoming webinar: Investment and Trade Opportunities Related to Colombian Infrastructure.
- Time/Date: 4pm EDT (3pm COT) on Tuesday, March 19th.
- Speakers: U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Michael McKinley and Colombia’s National Infrastructure Agency President Luis Andrade.
- Details: The webinar will focus on opportunities for U.S. firms in Colombia’s planned expansion of its transportation infrastructure sector (including roads, rail, ports, airports, and rivers). Participants will have the opportunity to pose questions directly to Ambassador McKinley and President Andrade during the Q&A portion of the call. The webinar is free and will be held in English.
- More information is available here: http://www.state.gov/e/eb/directline/events/205596.htm
- To sign up, please click here: http://www.state.gov/e/eb/directline/contact/205595.htm
- 2012 U.S. Exports to Colombia: $16.4 billion – a 15% increase relative to 2011.
- Colombia was the 5th principal destination of U.S. exports in Latin America following Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela. There were more U.S. exports to Colombia than to Italy, Israel, Turkey, Russia, Malaysia or Thailand.
- 2012 U.S. Imports from Colombia: $24.6 billion – a 7% increase relative to 2011, making Colombia the 20th source of imports worldwide.
- In 2012, Colombia was the 4th ranked U.S. trading partner in Latin America in terms of total trade (exports plus imports) behind Mexico, Brazil, and Venezuela.
- Total trade between Colombia and the U.S. went up 9.6% relative to 2011, reaching $41 billion.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/ZqRkAr
January Unemployment Rate at 12.1%
The unemployment rate for January 2013 decreased to 12.1% from 12.5% for the same month in 2012. The first two months of the year traditionally have the highest unemployment rates in Colombia, due to cyclical changes such as the end of temporary work contracts and peak vacation periods.
Coffee Growers National Strike
Colombian coffee growers around the country went on strike demanding the government’s support to level production costs (US $385 per 125 kilos of coffee) with the selling price (US $275 per 125 kilos of coffee). The week-long strike has resulted in road blockages between main cities. President Santos has argued that his administration has already provided more than US $ 2.5 billion in support to the sector over the past two years.
Medellin Named World’s Most Innovative City of 2012
The Wall Street Journal and Citigroup chose Medellin as the most innovative city in 2012. These organizations awarded the distinction to the city for its modern transportation system and environmental policy, and for its museums, cultural centers, libraries, and public schools that promote access and equity.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/Z7lDfo
2012 a Record Year for Foreign Trade
Colombia had a record year for foreign trade in 2012. According to the National Statistics Department (DANE), from January-December 2012, the country exported US$ 60.6 billion FOB and imported US$ 58.6 billion CIF for a trade balance of US$ 4.9 billion FOB. Imports showed a 7.2% growth over 2011. Exports showed 5.7% growth over 2011.
Biggest Colombian Financial Acquisition Abroad
Bancolombia S.A., Colombia’s biggest private bank, acquired the operations of HSBC Panama for US$ 2.1 billion. This transaction is the largest of any Colombian financial institution, surpassing the acquisition of BAC Credomatic in Central America by Colombia’s Grupo Aval for US$ 1.9 billion in 2010.
Colombia Signs Free Trade Agreement with South Korea
Minister of Trade Sergio Diaz-Granados and his South Korean counterpart signed the agreement on February 21 in Seoul. Congresses from both countries must now ratify the FTA before it enters into force.
Two New Board Members for the Central Bank
President Santos announced his new appointees for the Central Bank (Banco de la Republica) board of directors on February 21. Deputy Finance Minister Ana Fernanda Maiguashca and economist Adolfo Meisel, who heads the Central Bank’s branch in Cartagena, were chosen by the President to be the board’s co-directors.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/ZxPe6r