Colombia has become an investment “oasis” in an economically unstable world, the country’s energy and mining minister told Reuters last week.
Minister Mauricio Cardenas told the news agency that “Colombia is a kind of oasis in a convulsing and unpredictable world.”
According to the minister, the economic insecurity in the rest of the world has increased investors’ interest in his country.
“We are conscious of how very volatile and risky the world is today, not just because of China, but also because of Greece and Iran,” Cardenas was quoted as saying.
“Colombia gives investors guarantees … It has never failed to pay its debts and always honors its contracts,” the minister added.
According to the country’s Trade Ministry, foreign direct investment went up almost 25% over the past year. “Given this, the government expects that FDI will reach $15 billion by the close of this year,” Trade Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados said.
FDI in Colombia was $2 billion in 2002, at the beginning of a U.S.-backed offensive against leftist guerrillas which decimated rebel groups like the FARC and ELN — both frequently attacking oil infrastructure and kidnapping oil workers.
Attacks carried out by the FARC last year caused Colombia to fail its goal of reaching its target of 1 million barrels of crude oil per day.
According to the energy and mining minister, this target will be met within two months.
“We will increase production as soon as we get environmental permits on two important oil fields,” Cardenas said, without naming them. “It’s a matter of weeks.”