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Colombia

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Background

Colombia was one of the three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Ecuador and Venezuela). A 40-year insurgent campaign to overthrow the Colombian Government escalated during the 1990s, undergirded in part by funds from the drug trade. Although the violence is deadly and large swaths of the countryside are under guerrilla influence, the movement lacks the military strength or popular support necessary to overthrow the government. An anti-insurgent army of paramilitaries has grown to be several thousand strong in recent years, challenging the insurgents for control of territory and illicit industries such as the drug trade and the government's ability to exert its dominion over rural areas. While Bogota continues to try to negotiate a settlement, neighboring countries worry about the violence spilling over their borders.

Colombia's economy suffered from weak domestic demand, austere government budgets, and a difficult security situation. A new president takes office in 2002 and will face economic challenges ranging from pension reform to reduction of unemployment. Two of Colombia's leading exports, oil and coffee, face an uncertain future; new exploration is needed to offset declining oil production, while coffee harvests and prices are depressed. Problems in public security are a concern for Colombian business leaders, who are calling for progress in the government's peace negotiations with insurgent groups. Colombia is looking for continued support from the international community to boost economic and peace prospects.

Holidays

Jan 1 - New Year's Day
Jan 6* - Epiphany
Mar 19* - St Joseph's Day
Mar 24~ - Maundy Thursday
Mar 25~ - Good Friday
May 1 - Labour Day
May 5* - Ascension
May 26* - Corpus Christi
Jun 17 - Sagrado Corazon (Sacred Heart)
Jun 29* - Saint Peter and Saint Paul
Jul 20 - Independence Day
Aug 7 - Battle of Boyaca
Aug 15* - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Oct 12* - Dia de la Raza (Columbus Day)
Nov 1* - All Saints' Day
Nov 11* - Independence of Cartagena City
Nov 25 - Thanksgiving
Dec 8 - Immaculate Conception
Dec 25 - Christmas Day

Ps: These festivals' dates (~) given above are approximations which are subject to change every new year. Besides, the holidays(*) do not fall on a Monday, they are observed the following Monday.

Phone Codes

Country Code: 57
Outgoing International Code: 90
Main Areas' Codes:
Arauca 7
Armenia 6
Barranquilla 5
Bogota (Santafe de Bogota D.C.) 1
Bucaramanga 76
Cali 2
Cartagena 5
Cartago 656
Cúcuta 75
Florencia 8
Giradot 834
Ibague 8
Letitia 8
Manizales 6
Medellin 4
Mitu 8
Mocoa 8
Neiva 8
Palmira 22
Pereira 6
Puerto Carreno 8
Puerto Inirada 8
Riohacha 5
Santa Marta 5
San Andres 8
San Jose de Guaviare 8
Sincelejo 5
Tunja 8
Valledupar 5
Villavicencio 8
Yopal 8

Resources

Market Research

Embassy of Colombia, Washington, D.C.
Embassy of Colombia, providing information about visa, passports, notarization of documents, culture and tourism.

Republic of Colombia
Comprehensive set of links to Colombian websites as well as other information about the country, Regions and cities, business, embassies and consular offices, universities, newspapers, and politics.

Colombia National Business Media
Mondotimes has a large research scale to find out the Colombia's business opportunities with its enriched database capacity.

CIA - The World Factbook - Colombia
This website indicates a wide range of detail information about Colombia by introducing under 8 different fields as its geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, transnational issues.

About Colombia
There is available to find out Colombian general outlook on the issues of its social and business profile, passport/visa, money, accommodation, government, duty free, health and so forth.

 
 
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