Fostering the US-Colombian relationship

On March 4, 2020, the Meridian Corporate Council partnered with AT&T to host His Excellency Francisco Santos, Ambassador of Colombia to the United States, for a discussion regarding the current state of U.S. – Colombia relations in the new global environment. 

Ambassador Santos was the former Vice President of Colombia for President Álvaro Uribe’s administration (2002-2010). In this role, his policy priorities included fighting corruption, extortion and kidnapping; he founded the world’s first anti-kidnapping NGO, La Fundación País Libre, in 1991 after being kidnapped himself on orders from Pablo Escobar. Throughout his career, he has been an activist for human rights and citizen participation and created the Fundación Confianza Colombia in his efforts to promote democracy and citizen participation in public affairs. Ambassador Santos presented his credentials to President Trump on September 17, 2018.  

In the morning’s Global Business Briefing, held at AT&T’s offices, Ambassador Santos opened the dialogue by remarking that the world is changing dramatically through globalization. He highlighted the important role that the private sector needs to play in more globalized supply chains, particularly in Colombia, and emphasized the importance of commercial diplomacy for the U.S. - Colombia relationship. He also advocated for a model of association between foreign investors entering Colombia and existing Colombian business, infrastructure and human capital, and encouraged partnerships where possibleAmbassador Santos reassured corporate representatives of the prospect of Colombia as an investment in terms of its prime geographic location, its abundance of agriculture- and water- based opportunities, and its strong institutionalization. Other central discussion points involved Venezuela and migration, aging and healthcare in Colombia, and the consequences of an increased urbanization in the country. 



Project summary

Fostering the US-Colombian relationship
Regions: Western Hemisphere
Countries: Colombia, United States
Impact Areas: Business and Trade, Foreign Policy, Governance and Transparency
Program Areas: Diplomacy
Partners: Private Sector