Oil hopes raised by Gaviria visit: Colombia leader's investment drive faces problem over image abroad
Wednesday 28 July 1993
Britain is taking an increasingly close look at Colombia - the world's next great oil producer - where BP intends to invest some dollars 600m ( pounds 403m) in developing an oilfield that by the end of the decade should be producing 800,000 barrels per day. It will make Colombia Latin America's second-largest oil exporter. Britain is the third- largest foreign investor in Colombia (after the US and Switzerland) and, as President Gaviria told the Independent yesterday, it could soon occupy first place. In the meantime, Colombia is negotiating an investment protection treaty and double- taxation agreement with Britain.
Britain is impressed with Colombia's move towards an open economy over the past few years, which has seen average tariffs fall from 44 per cent to 11.7 per cent, and its record of relative political stability since independence early last century. The creation of an independent central bank charged with controlling inflation (currently 20 per cent and falling) has also caught the eye of British ministers.
But the President is acutely aware of Colombia's largely negative image abroad, coloured by endemic political violence, sky- high murder rate and the activities of the notorious drug cartels, and he is anxious to draw attention to progress that has been made towards resolving human rights and security problems that might otherwise deter potential investors. 'Pablo Escobar's Medellin cocaine cartel is finished, and their Cali rivals are talking about giving up,' he said. 'They know that the pressure we have been putting on the Medellin people will soon be switched to them.'
Mr Gaviria is equally confident that the two left-wing guerrilla organisations still in the field, the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), will soon give up. 'Four armed groups have already laid down their arms and taken up legal political activities in the past few years,' he said. 'They are not even very radical now that they have people in Congress. Our peace process has been really successful.'
- 1 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 2 Pictures show young Palestinian girl biting Israeli soldier trying to detain boy during West Bank protests
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 4 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
- 5 The 20 toughest job interview questions in the world
Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
Pictures show young Palestinian girl biting Israeli soldier trying to detain boy during West Bank protests
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...