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 This is what happens when you tattoo Charmander on yourself, drunk, and with no experience
- 2 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
Earthworms rain down from skies over Norway, puzzling scientists
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...
£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...