Colombia Reduces Poverty Levels
According to Colombia’s National Statistics Department (DANE), the country’s poverty levels dropped two percentage points in 2013. At the end of 2013, 30.6 percent of Colombians were considered living in poverty, while in 2012 that number had reached 32.7 percent. The five departments with the highest poverty rates in 2013 were Chocó (63.1percent), Cauca (58.4 percent), La Guajira (55.8 percent), Cordoba (51.8 percent), and Magdalena (50.5 percent). Colombia’s 2013 GINI coefficient – which measures income inequality – measured 0.539, the same as for 2012.
Foreign Portfolio Investment Soars in Colombia
According to the Colombian Central Bank, between January-June 2014, foreign direct portfolio investment increased by 127.6 percent to USD 6.2 billion compared to the same period in 2013. Net foreign investment inflows to Colombia in the first half of the year rose 29 percent to USD 13.7 billion compared to the same period in 2013. The investment flow increase can be explained in part by the increased weight of Colombian public domestic debt bonds in JPMorgan indexes.
Starbucks Opens First Store in Colombia
Starbucks opened its first store in Colombia on July 16 in Bogota. The company plans to open over 50 stores in the country within the next five years at an investment of over USD 30 million and will generate about 20 direct jobs per store. Starbucks purchases about 90 million pounds of Colombian coffee per year, a figure that could increase with the start of its Colombian operation. The multinational has a Support Center for coffee growers in Manizales, a program developed by the National Federation of Coffee Growers to promote research in the sector.