President Juan Manuel Santos has called for entrepreneurs and investors to do business with the emerging Colombian economy during an official visit to Singapore.
In a meeting with business and government leaders, Santos called Colombia “a great country” and predicted the two nations had “a long and profitable road ahead.”
“Singapore made the miracle a few years ago, doing what we’re trying to do now”, said Santos in reference to the country investing in its model technology and education sectors.
He said the development model of the Southeast Asian country was something to be emulated. Singapore is a highly-evolved market-based economy, ranked by the World Bank as the easiest country to do business in for the last six years.
Santos also pointed out Colombia’s improved security situation, which has attracted an increase in foreign investment in recent years. He hoped the two countries could capitalize on their respective strengths, Colombia in biodiversity, Singapore in biotechnology, to boost trade.
“If we can put to good use the advantages that each country has in these fields, I’m sure we can do great things,” said the Colombian leader.
President Santos and other leading ministers visited Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education, and were impressed by the Southeast Asian nation’s focus on education. Over 80% of the country’s students have their educations’ subsidized and Singapore enjoyed an unemployment rate of 2.1% in the first quarter of 2012. Colombia’s sat at 11.9% over the same period.
Santos concluded his visit to Singapore with the naming of a species of orchid after him in the city-state’s botanical gardens.