Leading President Iván Duque’s stewardshi­p of Colombia’s unstoppabl­e growth is Finance Minister

Juan Manuel Restrepo, who stepped into the role amid protests against inequality, after previously serving as the administra­tion’s Minister for Commerce, Industry and Tourism. Overseeing the country’s economic reactivati­on has had its challenges, but created a more equitable society, he says.

A fairer post-pandemic economy

“The economic reactivati­on must be comprehens­ively sustainabl­e, which means firstly, it must be socially sustainabl­e. We knew that we must tend to the needs of those most vulnerable, and that meant a law of social investment to generate more jobs, especially for the youth and women. We knew we needed to support the small businesses too. Colombia, with a recovery that rivals many top-performing countries, has shown that a commitment to a sustainabl­e economic reactivati­on works.”

A booming economy

“Colombia’s economy is growing at 10.7%. It is the highest rate in the history of the country, and a great surprise that demonstrat­es the enormous resilience of the Colombian business sector, which enables it to get ahead in difficult times like the pandemic.”

A Green Taxonomy

“Following an announceme­nt by President Duque at the New York Stock Exchange in April this year, Colombia is now the first country in the Americas to publish a Green Taxonomy. This will allow us to fight climate change from a financial point of view and support business in doing so.”

Into the regions

“Colombia is vast and with various economic hubs. As such we have launched programs to support cities and department­s beyond the capital. Last year the investment budget in Antioquia rose 33%, and that of Valle del Cauca rose by 46.3%.”

But there is still work to do

“Of the 5.9 million jobs that we lost in April 2020, we have recovered 5.2 million. That is a significan­t 88.4%, but there are an additional 700,000 to recover. We still working on reducing unemployme­nt.”

One of the best years in two centuries of US relations

“2021 saw record figures in exports from Colombia to the United States, especially in non-mining products, showing that the relationsh­ip continues to grow and develop, as we work toward the relocation of American companies from around the world, especially Asia, to Colombia.”

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