Colombia: A Growing Investment Presence on the International Stage

Mitch Rose, Ambassador Camilo Reyes, Ambassador Stuart Holliday

Overview

On March 13, 2018, Meridian partnered with NBCUniversal to host a breakfast with His Excellency Ambassador Camilo Reyes, Ambassador of Colombia to the United States, as a part of the Global Business Breakfast series. This event gives companies the opportunity to speak with high-level officials and experts about key global issues affecting their specific areas of business.

Ambassador Reyes started the event by giving introductory remarks about Colombia’s advantageous position in relation to trade with the United States. Colombia has been increasing their formal economy, as well as entered into sixteen trade agreements that have allowed the expansion of up to 650 foreign companies in Colombia. With a 1.8% increase in its GDP in the last year, Colombia is now the second highest country in terms of international investment and is a progressively attractive choice for investment and expansion opportunities.

These remarks allowed companies in attendance, such as Visa, Google, and Squire Patton Boggs, to discuss issues about recent diplomatic trips of US government officials to Colombia, as well as President Trump’s planned visit to the country. Questions regarding the Venezuelan crisis and Colombia’s security spending are among the most critical in the current United States and Colombian relationship. Colombia has been a key actor in helping to resolve the Venezuelan refugee crisis, and has already provided both medical and education services to this growing population.

However, Colombia plans to join the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) in order to create global partnerships that would maximize international trade and business opportunities for Colombia worldwide. Ambassador Reyes hopes that Colombia and the United States will be able to be partners in the exchange of information and advancement in the upcoming future, as well as intensify the diplomatic relationship between the two countries.

Meridian’s CEO Ambassador Stuart Holliday and Ambassador Reyes also took the opportunity to discuss the state of Colombia’s public health sector, in light of the recent events in Venezuela. The public health sector is the fastest growing sector in Colombia and, as such, Colombia is able to offer high quality medical services at competitive prices. Overall, Colombia’s expanding global presence and its position within international investment makes the country an enticing choice for both the expansion of United States and foreign companies.

Sponsor

In Attendance

Corporate Council Members:

Abbott
Boston Scientific
Comcast/NBC Universal
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Google
Squire Patton Boggs
The Coca-Cola Company
Toyota
United Airlines
Visa

Embassy of Colombia: Ambassador Camilo Reyes, Juan Carlos Reyes (Minister Counsellor for Economics), Angela Puentes (Third Secretary)

Guests: APCO Worldwide, BGR, Cohen Group, EV Consulting, Lockheed Martin, RSS Group

Meridian International Center: Ambassador Stuart Holliday, Puru Trivedi, Lizzy Ramey

Meridian looks forward to working with the Embassy of Colombia on future initiatives in Washington.

For Council items, please contact Puru P. Trivedi, Director for Corporate Relations | 202-939-5524 | ptrivedi@meridian.org

Project summary

Colombia: A Growing Investment Presence on the International Stage | March 2018
Regions: Western Hemisphere
Countries: Colombia
Impact Areas: Business and Trade
Program Areas: Convening
Partners: Diplomatic Corps, Private Sector