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Colombia's Economy

Colombia’s economy has for decades been among the best in Latin America, thanks in large part to steady agricultural production, a healthy textile industry and a wealth of natural resources. Colombia is among the world leaders in the production of coffee, petroleum, textiles and flowers, and is South America’s leading provider of gold, nickel and coal.

These and other growing sectors have in recent years helped Colombia‚Äôs economy grow by an average of 6.8 percent a year, some two percentage points higher than the Latin American average. Former President √Ālvaro Uribe‚Äôs efforts to increase security in Colombia have certainly helped, going a long way in rebuilding confianza, or trust, in the country‚Äôs economy. As killings and abductions have declined, foreign investment from multinational corporations has soared, flooding Colombia‚Äôs economy with money and industries geared toward future growth.

Other signs of economic strength abound. Declining inflation and unemployment have improved the country’s quality of life, tourism to Colombia has nearly tripled in the last five years, and real estate is once again a stable investment. Taken together, it’s not surprising to see once-dangerous or impoverished neighborhoods and districts beginning to turn around.

Yet despite its relative strength in the region, Colombia is still largely dependent on the U.S. Since 2000, Colombia has received some $7 billion in U.S. military aid, more than all other countries in Latin America. A Free Trade Agreement between the U.S and Colombia, which has been in the works for over a decade, faces stiff opposition from grass roots and labor organizations in both countries.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Colombia: Colombia's Political System, Colombia's Current Political Situation, Colombia's Social Issues, Environmental Issues in Colombia and Colombia's Economy: Past and Present.

26 Sep 2011

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