Colombia World Survey
Colombia has long been disregarded on the international scene. Plagued by drug-trafficers, left wing guerrilla groups equally criminal, Colombia was seen as far too instable and dangerous for foreigners, be it financial investors or tourists.
But the country is slowly changing its image interantionally and marketing itself as a key Latin American economy for the future. In the world bank 2015 ease of doing business ranking, Colombia was 34th, making it the top Latin American economy in the ranking.
Last year it ranked 43rd and was the third placed Latin American country behind Chile and Peru. This newly found improving reputation has been achieved on the back of a peace process and a booming economy led by the extractive industries.
A decade ago some ofthe armed groups born in the sixties dropped their weapons while the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) continued to fight. Since then the successive governments have been in and out of peace talks with the FARC.
The bloody conflict came closer to an end than in 2012 when the indefinite cease fire was declared and ongoing negotiations between the government of president Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC started in Havana, Cuba. As a result, January 2015 was the last deadly month in the armed conflict forthe past 30 year.
But the journey to peace is still a long one. The Colombian government and the FARC have found only partical participation and illicit drugs.
However the most contentious points of the negotiations still to be agreed upon; justice and how to determine responsibility and punish the criminals; the abandonment of the arms; and the implementation of the peace treaty through a period of transitional justice.
Colombia's economy has indeed been enjoying strong growth in recent years, and is now the fastest-growing economy in the region. The country's economic success story has its roots in the early nineties. Following national economic turmoil successive governments have worked towrads liberalisation and internationalisation of the Colombian market. Reforms have been passed treating foreign investors the same as domestic investors, lifting controls on transfer of capital and profits, and opening most sectors of activities to foreign investors.
Economic reforms and the peace talks have contributed to Colombia becoming the fourth largest economy in Latin America behind Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.