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Investing In Colombia I The Caribbean

  1. Investing in Colombia I - The Caribbean colombia-i-the-caribbean/
  2. • When one considers investing in Latin America and investing in Colombia in particular the famous words of Baron Rothschild come to mind.
  3. • This 18th century investor and banker is credited with saying that “The time to buy [stocks] is when there is blood in the streets.
  4. • .” He was talking about 18th century wars and rebellions but his words are pertinent in the New World today.
  5. • Specifically, Colombia is coming out of a half century long rebellion and many investors have not yet caught on.
  6. • This is the third of a four part series about Investing in Colombia.
  7. • We will deal briefly with the history of the Colombian Civil War and then look at investment opportunities in the Colombian Caribbean.
  8. The Colombian Civil War • The current Colombian civil war has lasted from the mid 1960’s to the present. Rebels say they are fighting for the rights of the Colombian poor.
  9. • The primary rebel group is FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia).
  10. • The rebels primarily have occupied remote areas of the jungle, especially in the Amazon Basin with occasional forrays into the cities.
  11. • An increasingly aggressive campaign by the Colombian government has driven FARC from the cities and forced them to cross borders into Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama in search of sanctuary.
  12. • Despite the claim that FARC simply wants to improve the lot of poor Colombians they have been tied to drug trafficking.
  13. • Many Colombian families can name a member of two who were assassinated by FARC for opposing extortion efforts by the rebels.
  14. • On the other hand government allied paramilitary forces fighting FARC are also accused of drug trafficking and terrorism.
  15. • The good news is that the conflict is settling down and Colombian Peace Talks have begun. The time has come for investing in Colombia.
  16. The Caribbean Coast of Colombia • Colombia is a nation of roughly 46million people. Its major exports are coffee, flowers, emeralds, coal, and oil.
  17. • As the risk, and especially the perceived risk, of visiting Colombia diminishes expect to see tourism, retirement to Colombia, and purchases of vacation homes increase in Colombia.
  18. • The most like beneficiary of the will be the Caribbean Coast.
  19. • The Colombian ministry of tourism has developed a new slogan, “The only danger in Colombia is that you will not want to leave.
  20. • Foreigners are visiting Colombia again and the “blood in the streets” is going away.
  21. • Consider Cartagena, Santa Marta, and the Island of San Andres for investment opportunities.
  22. Cartagena de Indias • Cartagena is a Spanish Colonial city with an old fortress and beautifully restored old city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.
  23. • Beaches are great and the people are friendly. The urban area boasts 900,000 people.
  24. • Cartagena has a decided Caribbean influence and is already a tourist magnet.
  25. • Cartagena is a great place for a first visit to Colombia and offers real investment opportunities in real estate and business when investing in Colombia.
  26. Santa Marta • Santa Marta is a city of 400,000 farther to the East of Cartagena, also on the Caribbean. It is also a colonial city, founded in 1525.
  27. • . It is a tourist Mecca for Colombians and other Latinos with its spectacular beaches, nearby Santa Marta mountains, nature preserves, and colonial architecture.
  28. • It offers the same mix of opportunity for investing in Colombia for tourism and real estate related businesses as Cartagena.
  29. • However, Santa Marta has been more strongly affected by the armed conflict.
  30. • On one hand this may lead to a concern about personal danger.
  31. • On the other hand investment opportunities will likely multiply more strongly here than in Cartagena.
  32. San Andres Island • Although the island of San Andres is Colombia it is a coral island in the Caribbean Sea, closer to Nicaragua than to Colombia.
  33. • Here the concern of armed conflict fades to nothing in the Caribbean sun.
  34. • Although investing in Colombia in San Andres is certainly possible, don’t expect a jump in prices and economic activity when peace breaks out.
  35. • The island is already peaceful!
  36. The Rising Colombian Peso • The Colombian peso has outperformed all other currencies versus the US dollar in 2012.
  37. • For those interested in offshore investment and offshore banking, Colombia may well be the place to be as its economy takes off.
  38. • For more about investing in Colombia, read Investing in Colombia I – The Caribbean, Investing in Colombia II - Bogota, and Investing in Colombia IV - The Amazon.