The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has inducted Colombia into its group, recognizing President Juan Manuel Santos’ efforts to reduce poverty and end a half-century conflict with FARC rebels.
Colombia is the third Latin American country to join the Paris-based economic group, with the other two being Mexico and Chile.
Besides the OECD, the South American country has also been invited to join the intergovernmental military alliance the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Once marred by political violence and drug trafficking, the country is now experiencing economic growth. Two years ago, it reached a landmark peace agreement with FARC, ending Latin America’s longest-running conflict.
According to OECD, economic growth in Colombia is on course to rise to around 3% in 2018 and 2019. The organization pointed to reduced corporate taxation, the historic peace agreement, better financing conditions and new infrastructure projects, as positive steps the country is taking to boost the economy.
Violence hurt Colombia’s tourism sector hard. Now, international tourists have started to trickle into the country, with the United States’ International Trade Administration expecting the country to lead growth in tourism in the next decade.
“Being part of OECD and NATO improves the image of Colombia and allows us to have much more play on the international stage,” remarked President Santos in a televised address.
“[It will] be of great benefit for Colombia to continue advancing, continue reducing poverty, to guarantee a more just, more inclusive, more sustainable development.”