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CANADA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, SINGAPORE BEGIN FREE-TRADE NEGOTIATIONS WITH PACIFIC ALLIANCE IN COLOMBIA “in the western Colombian city of Cali, Canada has begun the first round of formal negotiations to forge a free-trade agreement with the Pacific Alliance. Along with three other nations — Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore — the North American nation is looking to become an “associated state” of the trade bloc, which includes Colombia, Mexico, Chile, and Peru. The Pacific Alliance has become one of the most successful economic marriages in the hemisphere, and the Canadian government sees increased economic integration as a great step to grow its trade in the region.” FINANCE COLOMBIA. 23/10/2017

BRITAIN TALKS NEW TRADE DEALS WITH COLOMBIA, PERU AND ECUADOR “British officials are in talks with Peru, Colombia and Ecuador to use the three countries’ existing trade agreement with the European Union as the basis for forming new deals after Brexit” COLOMBIA REPORTS. 28/09/2017


COLOMBIA’S CARBON TAX SHOWS EARLY SIGNS OF SUCCESS “A commercial carbon tax, formalized under the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos in June, is showing early signs of success. The new policy, which imposes a $5 tax for every ton of C02 a company is responsible for emitting, has encouraged major businesses to achieve a “carbon neutral” status. Businesses that do not produce greenhouse gas emissions, or that offset their emissions through positive environmental development projects, are labeled “carbon neutral” by the government and don’t have to pay the carbon tax.” COLOMBIAN REPORTS. 10/10/2017

COLOMBIA GOVERNMENT PROPOSES $78.4 BILLION BUDGET FOR 2018 “The Colombian government offered a first look at its proposal for a $78.4 billion 2018 budget, in a bid to retain its ‘BBB’ credit rating, ahead of months of debate and negotiations on the bill in Congress. The 235.6 trillion pesos plan includes cuts to social programs, said Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas, during a presentation of the proposal. Congress must vote on the budget in October at the latest.” REUTERS. 28/07/2017


COLOMBIA WILL USE TELECOM FINES TO PRE-FINANCE 2018 BUDGET “Colombia will use $980 million in fines paid by two mobile phone operators to pre-finance budgetary needs for next year. In July, a Colombian arbitration panel fined local subsidiaries of Mexico’s America Movil SAB de CV and Spain’s Telefonica SA a total of $1.5 billion for failing to meet contractual conditions for cellular services.” COLOMBIA REPORTS. 31/08/2017

HOW COLOMBIA’S 8,880 MINING TITLES ARE DISTRIBUTED “The provinces of Antioquia and Boyaca own 33% of the country’s 8,880 mining titles while Amazonas is one of three to be left unexploited, Colombia’s National Mining Agency revealed. The only provinces apart from the capital district of Bogota to be free of mining titles are Amazonas, San Andres and Sucre, according to the ANM.” COLOMBIA REPORTS. 08/08/2017

COLOMBIA'S ECOPETROL BETS ON NON-CONVENTIONAL DEPOSITS TO BOOST RESERVES “Colombia’s state oil company Ecopetrol SA will focus exploration efforts in the next few years on unconventional deposits in the center and north of the country in a bid to increase reserves, its chief executive said. The region has strong potential for light crude and appears to have significant reserves, Ecopetrol CEO Juan Carlos Echeverry said in an interview. Ecopetrol will also continue efforts to develop its mature fields to boost recovery, as well as explore offshore in the Caribbean, the United States, Mexico and Brazil, and seek companies for possible purchase.” REUTERS. 14/08/2017

GEOPARK ANNOUNCES HIGH-IMPACT ACQUISITION IN COLOMBIA ADJACENT TO SUCCESSFUL LLANOS 34 BLOCK “GeoPark Limited, a leading independent Latin American oil and gas explorer, operator and consolidator with operations and growth platforms in Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Peru, announced the execution of a joint venture agreement related to certain exploration activities in a new high-potential exploration acreage (“Tiple Block Acreage”) in the Llanos Basin in Colombia, through a partnership with CEPSA Colombia S.A. (a subsidiary of CEPSA SAU, the Spanish integrated energy and petrochemical company)”. BUSINESS WIRE. 23/10/2017

“MISSION PRODUCE” IMPORTS COLOMBIA AVOCADOS “Working with its Colombian partner Cartama, Oxnard, Calif.-based Mission Produce is preparing to receive the first entry of Colombian avocados in the U.S.  The first shipment is scheduled to arrive Nov. 6 at Port Everglades, Fla., according to the release. The fruit was grown by Hasspacol and packed at Cartama’s facility in Pereira, Colombia, under the Mission and Hasspacol labels.” THE PACKER. 06/11/2017 

COLOMBIA SIGNS $300M UN DEAL TO FIGHT COCAINE PRODUCTION “Colombia has signed a $300m agreement with the United Nations aimed at reducing the production of cocaine. Farmers who switch from growing coca - the raw material used to make cocaine - to safer crops will be compensated. The head of the UN's Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said it was an opportunity to turn the tide against Colombia's coca cultivation.” BBC NEWS. 04/11/2017

COLOMBIA PRESIDENT SIGNS CEASEFIRE DEAL WITH ELN REBELS FOR 1ST TIME IN HISTORY “A deal signed by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos marks a significant milestone in efforts to end political violence in South America as it is the first ceasefire with the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group in the history of its insurgency. “President Juan Manuel Santos has signed an order launching the ceasefire regime from October 1. This is the first bilateral ceasefire endorsed by the ELN in its history,” the president’s office tweeted.” TODAY COLOMBIA. 04/10/2017

COLOMBIA ATTORNEY PLEDGES FOR FORCED ERADICATION OF COCA CROPS “The declaration comes one day after President Juan Manuel Santos committed to properly implement the program of substitution of illicit crops. Colombia's Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martinez urged Sunday authorities to fight properly drug trafficking in the country, including via the controversial forced eradication of illicit crops.” TELESUR. 22/10/2017

NETANYAHU BEGINS “HISTORIC” LATIN AMERICAN TRIP IN ARGENTINA “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Argentina on the first leg of a groundbreaking diplomatic tour that will also include Colombia and Mexico. Netanyahu has called the visit, the first to Latin America by a sitting Israeli Prime Minister, “historic.” He is travelling with a large business delegation including business leaders from sectors including agriculture, water, communications, and energy. Israel and Argentina are due to sign a number of cooperation agreements on trade and security during the visit.” THE TOWER. 12/09/2017

VENEZUELA TAKES COLOMBIA’S PRIVATE TV CHANNELS OFF AIR “Venezuela has taken Colombia’s two private TV channels RCN and Caracol off the air. According to the opposition newspaper, the forced exit is due to “the coverage the channels provided of the [sacked and exiled] Prosecutor General of the Republic [Luisa Ortega] during her stay in Colombia. This was the push to again attack the freedom of expression” COLOMBIA REPORTS. 24/08/2017

POPE CALLS ON COLOMBIA TO RECONCILE AFTER DECADES OF WAR “Pope Francis called on Colombia’s Catholic majority to reconcile as the country faces major divisions after decades of war. The pope had long conditioned his visit to the successful ending of peace talks between the government, led by Juan Manuel Santos, and the country’s longest-living guerrilla group, the FARC. Ahead of his visit, the pope and Colombia’s branch of the Catholic Church played an active part in diplomatic pressure to convince Santos and the country’s last-standing guerrilla group, the ELN, to cease fire for the first time in 53 years.” COLOMBIA REPORTS. 05/09/2017

COLOMBIA’S FARC TO BECOME POLITICAL PARTY WITH NEW NAME, SAME ACRONYM “Colombia’s formerly largest armed insurgent group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), is set to turn into a political party with the same acronym, Luciano Marin Arango, also known as “Ivan Marquez,” said”. TODAY COLOMBIA. 31/08/2017

COLOMBIA'S GOLFO CRIME GANG WILLING TO SURRENDER, PRESIDENT SAYS “Colombia’s notorious Golfo Clan crime gang, one of the country’s most violent, has told the government it is willing to surrender, President Juan Manuel Santos said. The group, also known the Usuga Clan, is accused of operating profitable drug trafficking routes in partnership with Mexican cartels and taking part in illegal gold mining. The government is not going to negotiate with the gang, Santos said, because members are criminals, and not politically motivated rebels like the FARC and ELN guerrilla groups.” REUTERS. 05/08/2017 

BEST AND WORST DESTINATIONS FOR EXPATS IN 2017 “In the latest Expat Insider 2017 study by InterNations, Singapore was ranked one of the top 10 destinations for expats this year. Other than that, some of the top scorers include Bahrain, Costa Rica, Mexico, Taiwan, Portugal, New Zealand, Malta, Colombia, and Spain for their quality of life.” HUMAN RESOURSES.  01/10/2017

COLOMBIA’S AVIANCA ALLOWED TO HIRE FOREIGN PILOTS TO COMBAT EFFECTS OF STRIKE “Colombia’s aviation authority allowed the country’s largest private airline, Avianca, to hire foreign workers to curb the effects of a pilot strike. The strike left Avianca without half its pilots, forcing the airline to cancel more than 3,000 flights, which has affected 280,000 passengers.” COLOMBIA REPORTS. 03/10/2017

A METRO IN BOGOTA SO CLOSE YET SO FAR “Colombia’s national authorities have given a green light to a metro system in the capital Bogota, but the future of the project remains uncertain. On September 25, Colombia’s National Political-Economic and Social Committee (CONPES) approved a proposal for the national government to finance 70% of Bogota’s proposed above-ground metro system, 75 years after the mass transit idea was first mooted.” COLOMBIA REPORTS. 04/10/2017

AVIANCA EXPECTS TO BE ONE OF ONLY TWO MAJOR CARRIERS IN LATAM: CEO “Avianca Chief Executive Hernan Rincon said he expects the Colombian airline to become one of only two major international carriers connecting the Latin American region with global destinations. Rincon said in an interview that the airline is working to boost its presence in Argentina and Mexico, where parent company Synergy Holding is negotiating a 49 percent stake in Aeromar Airlines. Synergy purchased Argentine carrier Macair Jet in 2016.” REUTERS. 22/08/2017

COLOMBIA IS BECOMING LATIN AMERICA’S BRIGHTEST STAR “Following more than half a century of armed conflict, peace is shining a new light on Colombia’s future. A peace deal reached last November ended a 52-year conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), ushering in a new era of opportunity and prosperity for Colombia. In fact, The Economist named Colombia country of the year in 2016 for the colossal achievement of making peace.” TODAY COLOMBIA. 29/08/2017

COLOMBIA ELIMINATES VISA FOR NICARAGUAN TOURISTS “With the objective of encouring tourism to Colombia, the South American country has eliminated the visa requirement for Nicaraguan tourists. By resolution 5622 de 2017, Colombia’s Cancillería (Foreign Ministry), eliminated the travel block. With this exemption, the number of countries without any formality for travel to Colombia is now at 92.” TODAY COLOMBIA. 12/08/2017

BLIND VISITORS IN COLOMBIA TRY SALSA, PARAGLIDING “Salsa and paragliding may not seem unusual to many visitors to the Colombian city of Cali. But exotic dances and extreme sports are brand new thrills to blind tourists from around the world. Nearly 70 blind or partially-sighted visitors from Latin America and Europe came to the southwestern city last week in one of its first “blind tourism” expeditions. They tried salsa dancing while riding around town on a colourful local bus, clay modelling, rock climbing and even paragliding.” THE MALAYMAIL ONLINE. 22/08/2017


The opinions expressed in this newsletter are not ANDI´s but a collection of media information.

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International Affairs and Trade Division
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