Following a treaty that ended a 53-year-long civil war, Colombia rises as the most promising land of opportunity for investment on the South American continent.
Earning the “country of the year” title by the Economist for its peace efforts, Colombia now expects a 2.3% growth rate, compared to the average of 1.1% across Latin America.
The treaty’s impact is not limited to 10 million acres now available for agriculture, or the 15% increase in tourism, but also caused a humongous boost in the country’s trade activity.
The country has so far secured 15 different free-trade agreements (FTAs), including collaborations with Canada, Panama, the European Union and, most notably, the US.
A report from the US embassy in Colombia’s capital, Bogota – shows that the US FTA benefits the US with a $2.5 billion increase in the country’s GDP. Other stats show that the US is currently Colombia’s largest trade partner, counting for 29.4% of its exports and 27.5% of imports in 2013.
Furthermore, the country’s “peaceful” status allowed the development of over 5,000 tech companies. The roster includes 250 major US companies, including IBM and Cisco.
With the revenue reaching $2.5 billion from tech-related commerce, foreign investors are looking at the country as the next home for a tech hub, tackling a market that is 672 million people strong.
The treaty also allowed the flourishing of several Colombian trades, including textiles, building materials, and most importantly coffee, which saw an increase in production in 2014 of 22% and increase in exports by 23% in 2014.
The previously mentioned increase in tourism is attributed to the stability of several Colombian regions that offer unique nature getaways and ease of access for foreigners, including the Amazon rain forest and Ciudad Perdida (Spanish for “Lost City”), which dates back further than Peru’s Machu Picchu.
As a current resident of Colombia myself, I find myself baffled by the signs of development Colombian cities show, from Wifi accessibility, to modern means of transportation, all the way to the online presence of different services, including immigration services, and even a platform for coffee growers to trade on.