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Economy

Economy

Colombia: Diversity and talent

To refer to “Colombians” is to paint a very specific human profile that arises from the depths of a land peppered with regions in a geographic delight. The two oceans that surround Colombia and three large mountain ranges that run across it explain in part the contrasts, accents and diversity of the Colombian people. A territory full of people from coastal, valley, plains, Huila and Santander regions.  Each with their own, very diverse cultures that melt away in the overwhelming joy, strength, creativity and desire to excel that is the common denominator of all Colombians.

GDP expected to grow at about 2% in a scenario marked by lower oil prices and a complex international context for the country’s investments and exports. Growth in 2016 will be driven by expansions in the petrochemical industry, imports and the services and construction sectors.

Falling oil prices are pushing Colombia into a new reality. It is a reality that implies cuts in private and public spending and therefore also in short and medium term growth. This new reality can be seen through two different perspectives: the pessimistic view that relives the glory days of the past with oil prices around $100 per barrel and the optimistic view that shows us the opportunity to strengthen, find and build sources of growth for the near future. As I tend to be more of an optimist, I think that we stand before an opportunity.

After enduring over 40 civil wars during the 19th century, the 20th century brought the rise of the guerilla warfare to Colombia. Today, in the midst of the 21st century, the country still does not know what it means to live in peace. But hope remains alive today more than ever, thanks to the strides made in the negotiation process that Juan Manuel Santos’ government is holding with the two only guerrillas that remain active in the country, and in Latin America at large: The FARC or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the ELN or National Freedom Army. Signing a final deal with these two groups would mean the end of one of the world’s longest-running conflicts in the world.

Image of BBVA Colombia intro

It’s been over 20 years since we first landed in Colombia, drawn by the enormous potential of the country, in what after years of hard work has been proven to be a more than successful bet. A bet we stand by and renew every day, a commitment to the millions of Colombians that get up every day to kick-start a country that, without a doubt, is in the spotlight.

The global economic landscape would be impossible to understand without the essential role that central banks are playing. Any statement issued on any given day by any of the chairs of the world’s main regulators (Kuroda, Yellen, Draghi or Carney, to mention some of the most prominent) is certain to make markets explode into frenzied motion. The “whatever it takes” uttered by Draghi in 2012 will resound forever in the collective mind of the financial world.