The Report: Colombia 2017

  • ID: 4437451
  • Country Profile
  • Region: Colombia
  • 220 Pages
  • Oxford Business Group
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Politically, economically and socially, Colombia may be at the most important turning point in its modern history. After 52 years of fighting, a landmark peace deal between the government and the armed militant group FARC was concluded in late 2016. This coincided with the apparent bottoming out of the country’s economic deceleration. GDP growth had been hit hard by falling global oil prices, declining to 2% in 2016, but it is expected to pick up in 2017 and continue accelerating thereafter. This combination of positive events follows a series of important transformations taking place in Colombian society, including a reduction in the overall poverty level and a growing middle class.

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COUNTRY PROFILE
Diversity in the details: The country’s eclectic cultural heritage blends tradition and modernity
Interview: President Juan Manuel Santos
Interview: María Ángela Holguín, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Giving peace a chance: The benefits of political stability are generating new optimism in the country
Interview: Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina
Viewpoint: Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Development Bank

ECONOMY
Brighter prospects: Growth is expected to pick up thanks to stimulus initiatives
Interview: Juan José Echavarría, Governor, Central Bank of Colombia
Interview: Mauricio Cárdenas, Minister of Finance and Public Credit
Peace dividend: The peace deal will significantly benefit the entire nation
Interview: Rosario Córdoba Garcés, President, Private Council for Competitiveness
Interview: Bruce Mac Master, President, National Business Association of Colombia
On the rise: An expanding middle class is driving demand and consumption
Interview: Gerardo Corrochano, Colombia Country Director, World Bank
Vital contribution: Improving the operating environment for small businesses to expand

BANKING
Bouncing back: Increased lending, greater consolidation and improved regulation are driving growth in the sector
Interview: Luis Carlos Sarmiento Gutiérrez, CEO, Grupo Aval
Breaking with tradition: Mobile and online banking are improving financial inclusion

CAPITAL MARKETS
Up and coming: The sector is performing well despite recent challenges
Hedging risk: The bourse is working to diversify the derivatives market
Interview: Juan Pablo Córdoba, President, Colombian Stock Exchange
Market analysis & data provided by Grupo Aval
Trading up: Equity market
Backing business: Corporate bonds
Converting currencies: Foreign exchange
Government offers: Public debt

INSURANCE
Cover story: The industry is well placed to step up its rate of growth
Interview: John Nelson, Chairman, Lloyd’s
Interview: Gonzalo Pérez, CEO, Suramericana
Meeting demand: Penetration and density are set to rise with regional income levels

ENERGY & UTILITIES
Opportunity knocks: Peace deals, offshore exploration and renewed interest in energy
Interview: Francisco José Lloreda, President, Colombian Petroleum Association
Gas giant: Offshore exploration bodes well for future natural gas exports
Interview: Bernardo Vargas Gibsone, President, Interconexión Eléctrica
Fresh perspective: Renewables to bring clean energy to Colombia

MINING
Dig it: A reinvigorated industry is receiving strong state support
Gold standard: Exploration has led to a number of discoveries and new mines

ATLÁNTICO
Shining star: Construction and industry drive high-level growth
Out to sea: Government and sector stakeholders join forces to make Barranquilla an offshore energy hub
Interview: Eduardo Verano, Governor, Department of Atlántico

TRANSPORT
Paving the way: Developing infrastructure and reducing transport costs are top priorities
Highway to growth: A new road improvement programme is key to increasing the country’s global competitiveness
Interview: René Puché, President, Port of Barranquilla
Interview: Juan Camilo Samacá, President, Almaviva

CONSTRUCTION & REAL ESTATE
Lift off: A sharp increase in building activity is expected as infrastructure plans come to fruition
Shelter for all: Government programmes for low-income homes and increased access to credit are set to reduce the housing deficit
High rise: Key real estate segments are expanding despite a somewhat difficult economic climate
Interview: Alfredo Rizo, CEO, Terranum Corporate

INDUSTRY & RETAIL
Competitive streak: Exposure to international markets accelerates the need to improve productivity and cut costs
Interview: Daniella Souza, President, Dow Chemical, Andean Region
Responding to demand: Retail expansion is driven by rising disposable incomes and decreased poverty rates

AGRICULTURE
Ready to grow: A new peace deal and the development of agro-industry will allow the sector to realise its potential
Interview: Roberto Vélez Vallejo, CEO, Colombian Coffee Growers Federation
Interview: Rafael Mejía López, President, Colombia Commodities Exchange
Bearing fruit: The fruit segment is expected to be a key driver of growth

RESEARCH & INNOVATION
Growth by ingenuity: Support for entrepreneurship combined with the upgrade of industry puts innovation at the centre of economic expansion
Interview: Marta Losada, President, Antonio Nariño University

ICT
Up to the challenge: Growth slows as operators adapt to rising competition and the demand for data
Interview: David Luna, Minister of Information and Communication Technologies
Digital shift: Sector expansion continues amid growing IT usage
At your convenience: Improved internet access has led to a surge in e-commerce transaction volumes

TOURISM
Vying for position: Peace, investment and promotion efforts drive sector growth
Checking in: New hotels and more rooms underpin sector expansion
Interview: María Claudia Lacouture, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism

EDUCATION
Pillar of strength: The sector plays a key role in the National Development Plan, while addressing geographical differences and workforce needs

HEALTH
Positive results: New legislation and public health bodies have significantly expanded medical coverage
Interview: Emilio Sardi Aparicio, Executive Vice-President, Tecnoquímicas

TAX
Pay back: Reform of the tax code means new guidelines for investors
Viewpoint: Jaime Vargas, Tax Managing Partner and International Tax Services Leader, EY Colombia

LEGAL FRAMEWORK
A competitive player: Legal reforms boost the country’s standing in global markets
Following the rules: Financial and business regulations promote a healthy economy
Viewpoint: Jaime E Trujillo Caicedo, Partner and Chair of Latin America Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Group, Baker McKenzie Colombia

THE GUIDE
Through the lens: TV series and movies
Central comfort: Select stays in popular areas
Listings: Contact information for government bodies, businesses and other organisations
Facts for visitors: Helpful things to know

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