Monday, February 22, 2010

Colombia a Good Place to Do Business

Colombia a Good Place to Do Business: Colombia Beating All Other Latin American Countries

When asked which countries are the best to do business in, Colombia probably doesn't come to mind. Colombia typically comes to mind when talking about Guerrilla or drug trade. And yes, there is still coffee.

It might be time to let go of this perception: The World Bank in their yearly report "Doing Business" ranked Colombia 37 among 183 countries. While this might not seem like an impressive number, it might be interesting to note that highly industrialized countries like Germany ranked 25, Japan 15, France 31, Italy 78. Upcoming countries like India ranked 133 and China 89.

What's even more surprising is that Colombia beat all other Latin American countries by far, even countries which have recently been looked at as shooting stars in Latin America, like Brazil (129), Chile (49) and even Mexico (51). It might not be too much of a surprise that Chavez-led Venezuela (177) is coming in at the very end among the Latin American countries.

Colombia with a 5th place ranked particularly well in the category "Investor Protection". No nationalization of privately owned businesses in Colombia!

Also the development over time looks good: Colombia improved it's rank by 12 from 49 last year to 37 in 2010. Go Colombia!

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Friday, February 5, 2010

The King is Dead, Long Live the King (or: Colombian Population Not Anymore Behind Uribe's 3rd Term)

For the longest time, the Colombian population has been in favor of Uribe running for president for a 3rd time. This wide support for Uribe seems to be waning, following most recent polls.

Alvaro Uribe, who was elected president of Colombia in 2002 and re-elected in 2006 has been instrumental in transforming Colombia from a violence- and crime-ridden country into the safe haven in Latin America it is today.

Like in many countries, one person being president 3 times in a row is prohibited by the Colombian constitution. In order to change that, a 2/3 majority of voters would be needed. This is the majority Uribe seem to have lost now.

According to pollster Datexco, 47% of Colombians interviewed say they do not want a referendum, while 41% say they do.

Uribe not being able to run for presidency a 3rd time might have an important side impact on Medellin: If Uribe will not be allowed to take part in the elections, the front runner will most likely be Sergio Fajardo, the former major of Medellin, which on his own has been key to transforming Medellin from the former playground of Pablo Escobar to a city which is respected on a worldwide basis.

The king is dead, long live the king!