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Colombia: Country Insights
The Republic of Colombia is the fourth largest economy in Latin America, after Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina, and has the third largest population with approximately 46 million people. It is the only country in South America with two seacoasts (Pacific and Caribbean), which provides tactical shipping advantages in today’s global market. Aided by major security improvements, steady economic growth, and moderate inflation, Colombia has become a free market economy with major commercial and investment ties to the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. With the implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement on May 15, 2012, Colombia is the third largest market for U.S. exports in Latin America.
Strong political stability, a growing middle class (35.3% of the population), and improved security has created an economic boom in Colombia that, coupled with the government’s conservative fiscal policies, lessened the impact of the global economic crisis. Key economic indicators demonstrating the positive long-term effect of Colombia’s political and economic policies include: GDP growth of 5.5 percent in 2011 and 4 percent in 2012; foreign direct investment of USD 15.8 billion in 2012, a record for Colombia, which is an increase over the previous record of USD 14.8 billion in 2011, and inflation of 4 percent in 2012 and 4.3 percent in 2011. These are all signs of a strong and growing economy.
Due to Colombia’s close ties to the United States and Colombians’ appreciation for the quality and reliability of U.S products, consumers in Colombia often favor U.S. products and services over those of our foreign competitors. The United States is Colombia’s largest trading partner and Colombia is the 22nd largest market for U.S. exports in 2012. U.S. exports to Colombia in 2012 topped USD 16 billion, an increase of more than 14 percent over 2011.
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