End to FARC kidnapping ‘good for foreign investment in Colombia’

The FARC’s promise to end kidnapping will encourage foreign investment, according to business associations and entrepreneurs.

In an interview with Colombian business daily La Republica, President of Colombian company Fabricato Oscar Ivan Zuluanga said, “International investors [will] have more confidence, and it will be more obvious Colombia is an attractive destination [for investment].”

According to Jose Maria Escovar, manager of Colombian corporation PVC Gerfor, it would be beneficial not only to large multinationals, but also to small businesses.

Escovar told La Republica, “With the announcement of the FARC [small companies] will surely be willing to engage in productive acitvities, which also generate jobs.” Previously, he explained, small businesses were discouraged from investing by the risk of losing assets at the hands of violence or actions of armed groups.

Escovar also told La Republica how the end to hostage taking would encourage those who concentrate their money in the stock market to invest in more labor-intensive areas such as agriculture.

President of the Agricultural Society of Colombia Rafael Mejia took a more cautious position, agreeing that the investment potential for agriculture could be immense, but remaining skeptical about the prospects for an end to kidnappings. Meija told La Republica, “It is easier said than done, we have to wait and see what happens.”

The FARC, Colombia’s largest and oldest insurgency, announced Sunday that they renounced the kidnapping of civilians in order to finance their struggle against the state.

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