Archivo de ‘Economy’

Medellín makes it to one-digit unemployment, but barely

Viernes, agosto 1st, 2014

Medellín and the Metropolitan Area are now on the list of cities with the lowest unemployment rates in the country, with 9,9 percent for the second quarter of 2014. While Medellín’s rate is still far from the national unemployment rate, which was 9 percent between April and June,  it still dropped below 10 percent sooner than expected. Last year it didn’t reach that level until the third quarter.

The number of employed people in the Aburrá Valley rose to 1,785,000, an increase of 76,000. The sectors mainly responsible for the increase are construction, real estate, and retail.

Seven foreign companies look to Colombia for expansion

Miércoles, julio 23rd, 2014

Seven foreign companies are planning to open industrial plants in Colombia, namely in Antioquia, Valle, Cundinamarca, and Cauca. With a joint investment of 1,3 billion dollars, Holcim, Unilever, Fukurawa, Whirlpool in partnership with Haceb, Grupos Incas, and Hero Motocorp will soon be a presence in Colombia.

“The Colombian market is going through a phase of economic growth, international firms know it’s a safe bet to plant part of their capital here,” said business expert Ricardo Mejía. He also explained that it’s important for the country to open its doors to new and different companies that handle products different from the national ones, “although it could generate competition, the productive benefits for Colombia will increase.”

Colombia’s first Starbucks will be on 93rd in Bogotá

Martes, julio 8th, 2014

The Mexican group Alsea, Starbucks’ representative in Colombia, confirmed that the chain’s first store in Colombia will be located in Bogotá’s 93rd St Park, specifically in the lobby of a seven-story building. The store will be presented to the media on July 16th at 10:00 a.m..

The new Starbucks’ location will truly put the public’s preference to the test as there is an Oma Café, a Juan Valdez Café and a Café Renault located on the same block. Starbucks will have the advantage of space, however, as it’s bigger than any of the others with 250 square feet and two levels.

“To be located at the park is synonymous with the principle that the products offered must be high quality given the high profile of the public that frequents the area, which has high purchasing power,” said hospitality expert Luis Pombo.

Interconnectivity between Panama and Colombia reactivated

Miércoles, junio 4th, 2014

Panama’s President-Elect, Juan Carlos Varea confirmed that his country’s electrical interconnection with Colombia has been reactivated and the project with Empresas Públicas de Medellín resumed. EPM is the company responsible for construction of the primary dams in the neighbor country.

Varela’s proposal includes increasing the transmission line’s capacity from 300 to 600 megawatts to guarantee energy safety in his country over the next 20 years, as well as securing EPM’s consulting services on the issue of sewage systems, for which they are studying the models of cities like Barranquilla, Cartagena, and Medellín.

Talks between Government and farmers suspended

Miércoles, abril 30th, 2014

A meeting which had been scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Wednesday was cancelled by the leaders of the Agricultural Dignities, because the Minister of Agriculture, Ruben Dario Lizarralde, failed to show up.

The farmers said they will return to their respective regions and will not return to Bogotá until President Juan Manuel Santos himself agrees to meet with them.

Colombia suspends gas delivery to Venezuela

Martes, abril 29th, 2014

As a preventative measure against the effects of the El Niño phenomenon, Colombia announced it will suspend delivery of natural gas to Venezuela, of which the neighbor country has already been notified.

Colombia has yet to set a date to resume delivery of the gas, a service that is part of a pact that exists since 2007, which is currently set at 107 million cubic feet. The interruption will be in effect as of May 6th, a date requested by the Venezuelan government in an effort to have enough time to make necessary adjustments in their energy generation systems.

The suspension, according to Mining Minister Amylkar Acosta, “is temporary and is due to the prudence and precaution we must have in the face of the El Niño phenomenon which is imminent.”

Avianca has two weeks before pilots strike

Miércoles, marzo 26th, 2014

Avianca executives have until April 10th to reach an agreement in negotiations with the Colombian Civil Aviators Association (Acdac), which includes 419 of its 982 pilots; the group is asking for salary adjustments. Should they be unable to reach a deal, the general assembly will decide if it goes on strike or calls in arbitration.

The airline was forced to sit back down to discuss the issue after pilots abandoned talks back in October of 2013. Acdac was asking for a fixed 25 percent increase in salaries while Avianca offered a variable 11 percent tied to improvements in productivity.

Subway wants to get to 300 stores in Colombia

Miércoles, marzo 5th, 2014

The Subway chain hopes to open 100 new restaurants in Colombia in 2014, which would bring the total up to 300 all over the country. The first is expected to open sometime in March but which location that will be has yet to be announced; there are currently restaurants under construction in Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, Santa Marta, and Cali.

With the expansion, using the franchise model of business, Subway hopes to increase sales by 200-250 percent in 2014, similar to the growth achieved in 2o13.

The company considers Colombia to be the third market with most potential inLatin America behind Brazil and Mexico, and estimates that Colombia, in 10 to 15 years, will be among the top ten countries with the most Subway stores in the world.

Coffee production increased 40% in Colombia

Martes, marzo 4th, 2014

The National Coffee Growers Federation revealed that coffee production in Colombia for February was 874,000 60-kilo bags, which is a 40 percent increase compared to the same month in 2013.

So far this year production has already gone above 1,8 million bags, which is a 25 percent increase when compared to the same time period last year, when it was 1,5 million.

Coffee production for the past 12 months, between March of 2013 and February of 2014, is above 11,3 million bags, which translates into an increase of 38 percent compared to the 8,1 million bags produced in the previous 12 months.

The spike in production is also reflected in exports, which increased 36 percent with 976,000 60-kilo bags to satisfy growing demand for high quality Colombian coffee around the world.

Colombia is third economy in Latin America

Viernes, febrero 28th, 2014

Colombia has surpassed Argentina and positioned itself as the third most important economy in Latin America for 2013, according to London-based macroeconomic research company Capital Economics. The firm estimated that Colombia’s GDP last year was 347,000 million dollars, while Argentina’s was 337,000 million.

Colombia is now considered the third strongest economy in the region, behind only Brazil and Mexico.

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