Colombia and Mexico
After the meetings of Senator John McCain, which took place in Canada, the Senator commenced a three-day tour in Colombia as well as Mexico. The then Senator Obama had not specified any organized tour to Latin America despite the fact that Obama had stipulated the policies targeting the area in a latest speech. Both leaders’ efforts underline to America’s policymakers acknowledgment that Colombia, as well as Mexico, are of huge strategic as well as commercial significance to the US (Roberts para 1-2). This paper intends to compare Colombia and Mexico in terms of the economic stance of leaders, social programs implemented, urban v. rural differences, changes in agricultural regions employment, neighborhood change, tourism and the role of sport, music or any other type of culture
In Latin America, Colombia features among the fourth largest economies (IMF 1). The major export in Colombia is Petroleum, which covers up about forty-five percent of the nation’s exports. Followed by manufacturing sector, which constitutes twelve percent, this makes Colombia economy to develop at a rate of about ten percent annually. Colombia’s information technology is famous for developing at an alarming rate internationally due to the most extensive fiber optic facility in Caribbean (Azo Optics para 1 – 5). Besides, it possesses the biggest shipbuilding companies compared to Mexico.
Over the previous years, Colombia has encountered tremendous economic boom. In the year 1990, Colombia was among the fifth biggest economies in Caribbean and achieved a gross domestic product per capita of merely US$ 1,500. Prior to the commencement of this year, it improved to the fourth biggest economies in Caribbean behind Mexico and was ranked position thirty-one globally (IMF 1). In the year 1990, the poverty rates were as extensive as sixty-five percent though currently the figure has diminished to approximately thirty percent based on the 2013 survey (World Bank 1).
Contemporary industries such as Shipbuilding, Electronics as well as Automobile amongst others developed noticeably in the course of the period between 2000 and 2010, although, the majority of the Colombia’s exports have remained commodity based. In Caribbean, Colombia is the second largest producer of locally made electronics as well as appliances after Mexico (Curacao Chronicle para 1-5).
From the beginning of 2010, the Colombian State has expressed motives in selling to the rest of the nation the contemporary Colombian pop culture. This pop culture involves video games music besides movies as well as TV shows and food amongst others as a means of expanding the economy as well as totally enhancing the outlook of Colombia; a countrywide campaign resembling the Korean wave. In the context of Hispanic, Colombia is just after Mexico as far as cultural exports are concerned as well as is by now the areas head in cosmetic besides beauty exports (El Tiempo para 1).
The figure of tourists in Colombia increases with a margin of twelve percent annually. Colombia is forecasted to receive about 15 million tourists prior to the commencement of 2023. After the war that took place in the year 1899 to 1902, Colombia went through a coffee boom, which elevated the nation into the contemporary era, causing the attendant advantages of transportation, specifically railroads, communication network, as well as the initial big trials at manufacturing. On the other hand, Colombia’s reliably reasonable economic strategies, as well as proactive encouragement of liberal trade agreements in the current periods, have boosted its capability to counter external shocks. It is apparent that its real gross domestic product has increased more than four percent for the previous three years, leading to a decade of enhanced economic performance (CIA World fact Book 1).
In the year 1990, under President Gaviria regime, there was launching of economic liberalization strategies and this has progressed from then, with decrease in tariffs, financial liberalism, and privatization of the government-owned companies as well as the use of a highly free foreign exchange rate. Nearly entire sectors accessed the foreign investment though agricultural products were still protected. The initial conception of the then, Minister of Finance, by the name Rudolf Homes, was that the nation ought to import agricultural products that Colombia was not productive in such as maize, wheat as well as cotton besides soybeans. In addition, Colombia sold to the rest of the countries the one in which it was competitive such as flowers as well as fruits. In a span of 10 years, the agricultural sector lost approximately 7000km2 to imports, found majorly in highly subsidized agricultural goods from America, due to this policy, with a significant effect on employment in rural regions(United States Institute of Peace para 1). More so, this policy enabled food to be affordable for the middle income Colombian as opposed to if it would be in the scenario of constrained agricultural trade.
In the year 1997, Colombia was comfortable with a somehow established economy. The initial five years of free trade were featured by enhanced economic growth levels that range between four and five percent. The Ernesto Samper leadership stressed on social wellbeing approaches, which aimed at Colombia’s poor population. These changes resulted in increased government expenditure that raised the fiscal deficit as well as a public sector liability, the funding of which needed greater interest rates. An overrated peso innate from the past administration was sustained (CIA World fact Book 1).
The velocity of economic development went down and before the end of 1998, gross domestic product was merely 0.6%. In the year 1999, Colombia began experiencing its first recession from the Great Depression. The economy is reduced by 4.5% with the rate of unemployment stabilizing at over 20%. The leadership of President Pastrana assumed the office in the year 1998, invited with an economic crisis besides the complicated internal security issue as well as the international economic turmoil, which led to deprivation of confidence. As the reality of a serious recession unfolded in the year 1999, the state implemented several decisions. It indulged in a string of regulated devaluations of the currency, trailed by the aspect of allowing it floats. Colombia signed a treaty with IMF, which offered a $ 2.7 billion assurance, and at the same time subjecting the Colombia state into budget adherence as well as structural changes (CIA World fact Book 1).
At the beginning of 2000, the economic recovery began, and the export section spearheaded this due to the advantages of the highly competitive exchange rate and the established prices of petroleum, the nation’s best export commodity. The previous President Uribe brought in many economic reforms such as measures intended to lower the public sector debt to as low as 2.5% of gross domestic product in the year 2004. The Colombia’s state economic policy as well as democratic security approach have instituted a rising level of confidence in the Colombia economy, especially in the business arena as well as GDP figures in 2003 was the top past that of Mexico in Caribbean stabilizing at over four percent (IMF 1).
The tourism sector in Colombia is small as compared to Mexico although it is developing rapidly. Tourism is an essential sector of Colombia’s economy. The nation has main attractions as tourist destinations including Cartagena as well as its tremendous environment, which is reflected in the UNESCO global heritage record. Just contemporarily, Bogota, Colombia’s capital has emerged as the nation’s main tourist center due to its modified museums as well as entertainment services besides its urban overhauls such as the rehabilitation of common areas, the building of parks as well as the development of enlarged set-up of cycling routes. Colombia has well endowed, and diversified geography compared to Mexico, for instance, the Amazon as well as Andean regions, the Latin America, the llanos, as well as the Pacific shoreline (Hudson 144 – 165).
The percentage of travel and tourism to gross domestic product in the year 2013 amounted to COP 11,974bn, which was about 1.7% of the gross domestic product. This was predicted to increase by a margin of 7.4 percent to COP 12, 863.4 billion in the year 2014. This essentially depicts the economic activity derived from sectors including hotels, travel agents besides airlines as well as the rest of the people transportation services. It also incorporates, for instance, the services of the restaurants as well as leisure sectors expressly relevant to tourism. However, the exact contribution of travel and tourism to the Colombia’s GDP is anticipated to increase by a margin four percent annually. Indeed, in the near future it is evident that based on the current development in Colombia; there is a high likelihood of its economy out doing that of Mexico (World Travel and Tourism para 1).
Azo Optics. Azteca Installs 12,000 km of Fiber Optic Cable in Colombia. Accessed on June 9, 2015 from <http://www.azooptics.com/News.aspx?newsID=17573>
Curacao Chronicle. Colombian economy grows 6.4 percent, follows China as fastest growing country. Accessed on June 9, 2015 from <http://curacaochronicle.com/region/colombian-economy-grows-6-4-percent-follows-china-as-fastest-growing-country/>
El Tiempo. Colombia exporta US$ 748 millones en bienes culturales. Accessed on June 9, 2015 from <http://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/MAM-4508689>
Hudson, Rex A. Colombia: A country study. Colombia: Government Printing Office, 2010.
IMF. 5. Report for Selected Countries and Subjects. Accessed on June 9, 2015 from <http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2015/01/weodata/weorept.aspx?>
Roberts, James. The Colombia and Mexico: Vitally Important U.S. Allies and Trading Partners. Accessed on June 7, 2015 from<http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/07/colombia-and-mexico-vitally-important-us-allies-and-trading-partners>
The World fact Book. Economy: Colombia. Accessed on June 9, 2015 from <https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/co.html>
United States Institute of Peace. Colombia. Accessed on June 9, 2015 from <http://www.usip.org/category/countries/colombia>
World Bank. Data: Colombia. Accessed on June 9, 2015 from <http://data.worldbank.org/country/colombia>
World Travel and Tourism. Welcome to World Travel & Tourism Council. Accessed on June 9, 2015 from <http://www.wttc.org/>