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The study is by Daniel Guasca, a Colombian native who currently [May 2012] lives in San Francisco; this study presents the Colombian government's economic policies as compared to the MIEPA list of policies as outlined above. The ratings herein are based on the following rating scale:
5.0 Perfect Facilitation of Wealth Creation
4.0 Midway between Perfect and Neutral
3.0 Neutral Effect on Wealth Creation
2.0 Midway between Neutral and Obstructionist
1.0 Perfectly Obstructionist to Wealth Creation
[Rating scale copyright Mike P. McKeever, 2012. Used herein with permission]
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COLOMBIA - DANIEL GUASCA
COLOMBIA: ECONOMIC POLICY ANALYSIS BASED ON MIEPA POLICY LIST
RATING SUMMARY POLICY NUMBER RAW SCORE ADJUSTED SCORE POSSIBLE PERCENTAGE 1 3.9 11.7 15.0 78 % 2 2.1 6.3 15.0 42 3 2.6 7.8 15.0 52 4 4.2 12.6 15.0 84 5 4.3 12.9 15.0 86 6 4.5 13.5 15.0 90 7 4.0 12.0 15.0 80 8 2.3 6.9 15.0 46 9 2.1 6.3 15.0 42 10 3.5 10.5 15.0 70 11 4.3 12.9 15.0 86 12 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 13 2.1 4.2 10.0 42 14 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 15 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 16 4.2 8.4 10.0 84 17 3.7 7.4 10.0 74 18 1.7 3.4 10.0 34 19 3.1 6.2 10.0 62 20 5.0 10.0 10.0 100 21 2.2 4.4 10.0 44 22 3.6 7.2 10.0 72 23 4.3 8.6 10.0 86 24 1.2 2.4 10.0 24 25 1.5 3.0 10.0 30 26 3.6 7.2 10.0 72 27 4.1 8.2 10.0 82 28 4.5 9.0 10.0 90 29 3.5 3.5 5.0 70 30 2.0 2.0 5.0 40 31 4.1 4.1 5.0 82 32 4.0 4.0 5.0 80 33 5.0 5.0 5.0 100 34 4.0 4.0 5.0 80 TOTAL 120.2 255.6 365.0 70.0% ===== ====== ===== =====
COLOMBIA - DANIEL GUASCA - INDIVIDUAL POLICIES
1. Freedom from internal control 3.9
As 2012 the only restrictions of mobility in the country are for individuals flying to some region in the south and south east of the country which is believe illegal armed groups are hiding and still continuous operation. However, security has been enforced in these areas and as for the rest of the country it is more secure than ever to travel around thanks to Gov plan such as democratic security, which assure security and protection for any individual in the country.
2. Freedom of speech. 2.1
There is some belief that Colombian citizen and foreigners in the country enjoy the right of freedom of speech. Nevertheless, the illegal armed forces and governmental institutions like DAS make sure this human right will not be exercised freely. One of the most recent cases is the one of two Americans citizen living in the country who were send back to the States one for death threats from FARC (illegal armed group) and the other by the DAS who was not happy at all with the content of an internet blog administrate by one of the Americans. The first case is obviously a problem directly related with the Colombian conflict that not only foreigners faced off in the past in more violent ways, but also by reporters and writers; the Colombian army, government and police has been fighting fiercely to prevent this kind of actions by these terrorist groups. The second is completely unconstitutional because no gov' institution should be allow to shut up its citizen and visitors unless these constitute a thread to national security and the Colombian people. Even though Colombia enjoys more freedom of speech than many other lees lucky countries like Venezuela, Iran, China or North Korea, it is unacceptable for a country growing at fast pace to still have this kind of issues within its borders.
Personal source ; http://colombiareports.com/opinion/from-the-editor/17852-das-intimidation-of-gringo-blogger-shows-limits-to-freedom-of-speech-in-colombia.html ; http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/9196-colombia-lacks-freedom-of-expression-human-rights-official.html
3. Effective, fair police force 2.6
Colombia, which has a history of conflict and violent that got to its peak point in the 90's has overseen a handful of improvements in the delivery and administration of law. The National Police in Colombia has been doing a great job during the past 6 years working to stop criminal and terrorist groups in every city and town in the country. President Juan Manuel Santos stated that the achievements of the national police are really satisfactory assuring the continuity of safer nation. However, in my opinion as a Colombian citizen, having lived for over 15 years in the country, I certainly know that yes the police had improved, but most of the improvements were made in war against the drug cartels and subversion, leaving the security of citizen living in big cities at stake.
4. Private Property 4.2
Colombia is a country where private property is highly protected by the government looking to provide a better and safer environment for its citizen, entrepreneurs and national and international investors. Any kind of property will be official formalize by the “lonja de propiedad raiz” a Gov' institution, which grant power of ownership to any individual who has acquired property by legal means. The expedition of ownership is made official by delivering a property tittle to the owner who will be empowered to use this property at his own will. However, for any given use of the property the owner is obligate by the law to follow certain procedures and regulations depending on the use of the property. Also, it is worth to mention that this owner will be entitled for taxation, maintenance and profit gathering for this property.
http://www.lonjadebogota.org.co/pagina/ ; http://usaidlandtenure.net/usaidltprproducts/country-profiles/colombia
5. Commercial banks 4.3
Colombia's banking system has over passed the obstacles and barriers of banking crisis of the 90 which affected almost all of the country’s finances, since then the system has been growing bigger and robust with more regulations by the gov' and a tougher administrations for its banks. In present days the system Colombia currently has 18 banks with assets totaling more than $120 billion, or the equivalent of 43 percent of the country's gross domestic product. That is much lower than the banking sectors in countries such as Brazil and Chile. The system has proved its efficiency even in times of slow growth like in 2009 where the economy slowed to just 0.8 percent, Colombia's banking system reported growth of 12.6 percent with net profits of $2.82 billion. That profitability is attracting many investors to the oil and mining industries of the country and at the same time creating less concern about insecurity problems. Experts said that some obstacles are still ahead to stimulate the sector, a so-called "4-1000" tax on financial transactions that has restricted credit card use, put limits on interest rates and curtailed guarantees on real estate.
6.Communication systems 4.5
Colombia possesses telephone, radio, TV, fax, mail and internet communication in all of its major cities and towns. It is a fact that no all of the towns and districts possess all the 6 systems at the same time, but they'll never be excommunicated from the rest of the country. The country’s tele-density (the density of telephone lines in a community) is relatively high for Latin America(26 percent in 2010). However, there is a steep imbalance between rural and urban areas, with some regions below 10 percent and the big cities exceeding 30 percent. Also, Colombia has about 60 television stations, including seven low-power stations. In 2010 the population had about 21.9 million television receivers in use. Of the approximately 615 radio stations, 504 are AM; 59, FM; and 42,shortwave.
In Colombia internet connection is available almost anywhere despite that not all households in the country are subscribed to the service. This availability is in part to locally own businesses called internet cafe which are located in many places of city and town urban and rural areas.
7. Transportation 4.0
Colombia has a highly develop transportation system in both rural and urban areas. From north to south the country is connected by the Panamerican route and from east to west counts with thousands of rivers and roads to cover all its commercial, public and private activities.
Colombia has 3,034 kilometers (1,885 mi) of rail lines, 150 kilometers (93mi) of which are1,435mm(4ft81/2in)gauge and 3,154 kilometers (1,960 mi) of which are 914 mm(3 ft.)gauge. However, only 2,611 kilometers (1,622 mi) of lines are still in use. Rail transport in Colombia remains underdeveloped. 7 of out of the 10 major cities in Colombia are connected by railroads, but very little of it has been used regularly because of security concerns, lack of maintenance, and the power of the road transport union. In 2006 more than 2000 kilometers of railroads were refurbished linking Bogota to the Caribbean Coast and the 499-kilometer Pacific coastal network that links the industrial city of Cali and the surrounding coffee-growing region to the port of Buenaventura.
The three main north-south highways are the Caribbean, Eastern, and Central Trunk Highways (troncales). Estimates of the length of Colombia's road system in 2004 ranged from 115,000 kilometers to 145,000 kilometers, of which fewer than 15 percent were paved. Accordingly to a 2010 report by the Colombian Ministry of transport now more than 80 percent of the roads are paved and in good condition accounting for 170.000 kilometers of useful roads.
Ports, Waterways and Merchant Marines.
Colombia has an incredible natural created waterway system which connects literally every inch of the country. However, due to rebel armed conflict at least half of these waterways are not being in used for fear to be in danger by them illegal groups.
Colombia has well-developed air routes and an estimated total of 984 airports, 100 of which have paved runways, plus two heliports. Of the 74 main airports, 20 can accommodate jet aircraft. Two airports are more than 3,047 meters in length, nine are 2,438–3,047 meters, 39 are 1,524–2,437 meters, 38 are 914–1,523 meters, 12 are shorter than 914 meters, and 880 have unpaved runways.
http://www.mintransporte.gov.co/ ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_in_Colombia
8. Education 2.3
The literacy rate in Colombia is 93.2 over 100 ranking 7 over 122. Only 37 percent of Colombians between the ages of 17 and 21 are enrolled in higher education.
The Andes University, the best ranked educational institutional in Colombia it's not even between the first 100 of the world.
The level of education in Colombia is really low compared to the world rate. First of all just 37 percent of the population between 17 and 21 are enrolled in high education which highly affected the country's development. Also, the quality of the education is not good enough compare to those in countries like U.S and Europe, where literacy rates in the population are well above 98.5 percent.
Access to superior education is limited for those in the lower stratus due to the lack of resources to afford it and there's not such a thing as financial aid for those willing to study.
http://www.uniandes.edu.co/ ; http://chronicle.com/article/Colombian-Plan-to-Reform/127118/ ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_literacy_rate
9. Social Mobility 2.1
Social Mobility in Colombia is affected by many negative factors such as classicism, elitism and racism. These first two run deep into the country's society due to the stratification of the country in 6 different categories making 1 the poorest and with chances to get high education and 6 the wealthiest and the ones with easiest access to superior ed'. Thus, the stratification in the country has also led to elitism creating a barrier defined by family names and resource controller groups. In the contrary, Racism it’s only present over a handful of citizen making it irrelevant in the society.
http://cdi.mecon.gov.ar/biblio/docelec/bid/R433.pdf ; http://www.colegiobolivar.edu.co/newteach/colombian_values.htm
10. Freedom from outside control 3.5
The two arrest or hold any Colombian citizen depends and it’s up to the Colombian government and no other state whatsoever. Some exceptions may apply if for example the Colombian State is working in conjunction with other states in which felons individuals may be avoiding the Colombian law. However, it is fair to say that Colombians freedom still in jeopardy even within their territory, rebel forces use kidnap as one of their main tools to hurt the Colombian state. These illegal actions have been diminishing throughout the year with more and more national army enforcement in the country.
11. Protection of Domestic Enterprises 4.3
56,953.5 - 50,170.2 = 6,783.3 Colombia poses a small official surplus of exports over imports, a clear indicator that the Gov' and businesses are investing and growing at fast peace.
Colombia's main industries are allocated in mineral production, textiles, processed foods and beverages, paper and paper products, chemicals and petrochemicals, cement, construction, iron and steel products, and metalworking. Its diverse climate and topography permit the cultivation of a wide variety of crops. Also, Colombia has considerable mineral and energy resources, especially coal and natural gas reserves. Mining and energy-related investments have grown because of higher oil prices, increased demand, improved output, and pro-business reforms, along with improved security conditions. Improved security has allowed for greater economic and social development and helped attract higher levels of foreign direct investment, particularly in extractive industries (crude oil, natural gas, and coal).
12. Foreign currency transactions 5.0
Regardless the tight trade relations with the united states, Colombia has maintain the sovereign over its currency making it of obligatory use for any domestic transaction. Yes dollars or others currencies are accepted within the country but they must be first exchange into the Colombian currency (peso)
13. Boarder Control 2.1
Throughout the Colombian history boarder control has been a long lasting problem in the region causing millions of death and loses of millions of dollars every year. Heavy drug trafficking has been diminishing since 2000 thanks to a forefront declaration of war from the state to all the drug cartels in the region. However, these Cartels are not the only problem that Colombia possesses in order to become a more attractive businesses paradise, the rebel forces which are now hiding within the Ecuadorian boarder and Venezuelan, constitute a dangerous threat for country's stability. In recent years Colombia has been fighting more arduously to the point of attacking rebel encampments in neighbor territories like Ecuador, which caused lots of controversy and the freeze of relations between the two. Venezuela on the other hand has been a friend and foe for the country publicly stating they support to the rebel forces in Colombia, yet due to international checks and balances Venezuela had to take back these announcement and work closely with the Colombian Gov' fighting and protecting their mutual boarder.
14. Currency 5.0
Colombia shares a unique currency denomination throughout the country called peso. The Colombian peso has been the country's currency since 1847 when the country adopted it over the reales ( old Spaniard colony currency). This currency has been active for over 170 years in the country making it easier for Businesses around the country to trade within its borders in more efficient way. 100 pesos, 200 pesos, 500 pesos, 1000 pesos, 2000 pesos, 5000 pesos, 10000 pesos, 20000pesos, and 50000 pesos.
15. Cultural, language homogeneity 5.0
Colombia has a varied population which is made out of 6 ethnic groups 58% Mestizo, 20% White, 14%Mulatto, 4% Afro Colombian, 3%Zambo and 1% Amerindian adding up for a population of 46 366 364 millions. Colombia is the second largest country with most Spanish speakers after Mexico. Besides Spanish there are 101 other languages been spoken in Colombia from which 80 are still in current use by 500.000 Colombians in the whole country making not more than .9 percent of the population.
16. Political effectiveness 4.2
Current Colombian President Manuel Santos stated that in order to the development of new legislation, such as new laws on property rights, was making Colombia a fairer, more egalitarian country. Colombians had decided that justice, truth and reparations should not have to wait for a conflict to end. Since 2002 when former president Alvaro Uribe was elected the Colombian Government started a handful of programs to help those pushed away by violence paying reparations and helping them to be relocated an employed. The rapid detection and reaction against terrorist attacks has improved since 2002 thanks to the policies implemented by the Uribe administration. Guaranteed democracy or “seguridad democratica” gave Colombians citizens a relief and peace to expand their businesses and traveling around the country assuring safety for them in any part of the country.
In regards of disaster reaction Colombia counts with the effectiveness of Red Cross, the national army, and the agency of natural disasters, which has proven efficient many times before.
17. Institutional stability 3.7
Colombia enjoys a stable institutional structure that has been evolving for years, despite the internal conflict with rebel armed forces and left overs of corruption and the remaining drug cartels. A democratic government spotted and checked by a free press had given Colombians a sense of independence and autonomy to judge their own institutions whenever they're heading in the wrong way. Most of these institutions were inefficient in the past, yet their long lasting existence has given them the advantage of trial and error to correct their short comings.
Most Colombian government institutions have a reputation for inefficient, corrupt, and bureaucratic management, with the notable exceptions of the Central Bank, Ministry of Finance, and some other agencies responsible for economic policy formulation. However, like I said before this has been changing and the government has been turning these institutions less bureaucratic and more citizens friendly.
http://www.drclas.harvard.edu/revista/articles/view/236 ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_issues_in_Colombia
18. Honest government 1.7
According to the corruption perception index 2011 Colombia was ranked 80 over 182 countries with a score of 3.4 over 10. Its percentage of confidence with all the other nations was calculated in 3-3.9 over 10. Even though Colombia has seen some reduction in its internal corruption by the late administrations, armed groups and the small drug cartels left over from the 80's still using money to move strings all around the country.
19. Common laws 3.1
Colombia has had a wonderful penal justice code for over 30 years. We have a supreme court of justice court as many other countries do. These positions are held by highly qualify judges appointed by the president and approved by the congress. Office is held by these judges for live long term which aims to keep them unbiased from political and masses pressures. Nevertheless, corruption in the lower branches of justice and government still present now days: individuals with the means are most likely to get away with their crimes and more often with lesser penalties that a regular middle class citizen. However, thanks to the past administrations corruption has been pull down gradually and many of these criminals has been brought to the law to be punish for their crimes.
20. Central bank 5.0
The central bank of Colombia is called “Banco de la Republica”, which takes care of a number of monetary responsibilities that can be just only taken and assumed by the Bank itself. These activities are Issue of Legal Tender, Credit Functions, Banker of banks, Foreign Exchange Functions, Administration of International Reserves, Government Banker, Fiscal Agent and Trustee, Promoter of Scientific Social and Cultural Development and the Board of Directors’ Report to the Congress. All of these functions are completely up to the autonomy of the board of directors on the bank which are not link to the government in any way.
http://www.banrep.gov.co/the_bank/funct.htm#1 ; Personal opinion
21. Domestic Budget Management 2.2
The Tax revenue (% of GDP) in Colombia was 11.83 in 2009, according to a World Bank report, published in 2010, $283.109 billion (2010 est.).
2011 DIAN director Juan Ricardo Ortega said the agency collected $44.4 billion in tax revenue, surpassing the target of $40.6 billion. From January to the start of April of this year, the government collected COP22.3 billions, down from COP22.4 billion in 2009.
Colombia's general national expenditure
2009-147,744 tax revenue 22.3 2010-150,234 33.5 2011-171,461 44.4
http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/economy/21147-colombias-tax-revenue.html ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Colombia
22. Government debt 3.6
45.6% of GDP (2011 EST.)
44.2% of GDP (2010 EST.)
The data cover general Government Debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by Government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by sub national entities. Also, Colombia's credit rate was upgrade by Moody’s to Baa3, the lowest level of investment grade, from Ba1. The move puts Colombia’s rating on par with Brazil, Peru and Panama. The outlook is stable. Colombia was boosted to BBB- by S&P on March 16. Even though the debt of the country is close to 50 percent, the government has managed to maintain continues rate of GDP growth decreasing inflation which makes more bearable to pay the annual debt.
23. Economic statistics 4.3
The National administrative department of statistics (DANE) in Colombia is responsible for more than 30 research projects in the fields of economics, industry, population, agriculture, and quality of life, among others. This work, together with the application of modern technologies for the collection, processing, and dissemination of data, and the human qualities of the members of the organization, have allowed DANE to strengthen the knowledge, confidence, and statistical culture of Colombians, thus reaffirming its leadership status in the fields of statistics in Colombia. Also, because of the technological age we are living in, it is of easy access information regarding a variety of topics backed up with statistics and research.
24. Protection of public health and safety 1.2
Colombia stands as 87th world wide in the prevention of infant mortality with a ratio of 21.17% from the last three years. In comparison with countries like Japan, France and the united states with ratios respectively in order of 3.14, 4.10 and 7.07, Colombia TB ratio is more than 75% which suggested a huge lack on public health and safety standards.
Accordingly to the World Health Organization Colombia has a 2.8% (1.7–4.2) rate per 100.000 pop, which highly contrast with Japan's 1.5 (1.3–1.9), U.S 0.18 (.15-.21) and the United Kingdom with 0.64 (0.58-0.72). Colombia is surely getting a low score in public health and safety taking in count the size of its population is less than the U.S and japan but the ratio of mortality and infection is almost double.
http://www.who.int/tb/country/data/profiles/en/index.html ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate
25. High Wage Policies 1.5
Can an average single working person who is not a professional afford an apartment, a refrigerator and a vacation in Colombia? The answer is no. the minimum wage in Colombia is roughly 318 dollars per month making Colombia ranked second with the highest minimum wage among South America. Howsoever, thanks to the yearly increase of it the inflation rates have gone up since then; making harder for the average to have access to this good and services. The percentage of increased it’s calculated the department of labor to about 6 % yearly. Even though they possess the second highest minimum wage, it’s yearly increased has boost the inflation rates making hard for workers to buy goods and services.
http://www.businesscol.com/empresarial/tributarios/salario_minimo.htm ; http://redbarrio.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/colombia-salario-minimo-inflacion-y-alzas-una-humillacion-para-el-pueblo-trabajador/
26. Environmental Protection 3.6
Colombia is indisputably the country with the most wildlife and natural resources in the South America. With 56 percent of Colombia covered by natural forest, the country is home to up to 55,000 species of plants which is 15 percent of the existing species in the world. The area of the amazon within the Colombian territory is responsible to be home to 10% of the world’s biodiversity, and produces 15% of the world’s oxygen. Furthermore, its water resources are way larger than those of India and the continental U.S.
The country has been sturdily fighting deforestation which is huge in the territory due to the cultivation of illegal crops that uses hazardous chemicals. The government's approach is by supporting native regional and indigenous families looking to incentive the cultivation of other legal crops and the protection of the land. On Feb 15 2012 Colombia's minister of environmental protection released the new actions by his department such as increasing fines for damaging environment, clamping down on abuses by communities, and not welcoming investors with lack on environmental standards. However, there's still much to be done in regards of the protection and enforcement of law.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/15/colombia-environment-protection-attention_n_1279767.html ; http://www.colombiaemb.org/spanish/colombia-a-success-story-mainmenu-94/energy-a-environment-mainmenu-234
27. Strong army 4.1
The Colombian army with 178,000 soldiers, Colombia's army is more than twice the size of the Venezuelan and Ecuadorean armies combined. Colombian troops and police are experienced fighting rebels, paramilitaries and drug traffickers. U.S. trainers and billions of dollars in aid from Washington have bolstered their military intelligence and combat capabilities.
Due to its extensive conflict with rebels, bandits, insurgents and drug traffickers the Colombia army is highly trained in land combat, air and sea. The united states has been also cooperating joint operations with the countries army as well as providing funding and training, making Colombia one of the strongest armies if not the best in the region, counting with the support of the United States.
28. Foreign trade impact 4.5
$56,953.5 +$50,170.2 = $107,123.7 / $310.380.6 billion = 0.3451 34.5%
Colombia is a developing country, which during the past 8 years has been working on strengthen its exports by investing in national industries and smalls business; creating a substantial increase on its exports in 2011; creating a positive balance over the exports side. These improvements in the foreign trade are benefiting many businesses and workers, but if this expansion in the exports of the country is not control or regulated by the Government it will surpass the 34.5%, leading their current economy to be more dependent of foreign markets. Colombian's GDP in 2011 was accounted on 310, 3806 billion dollars. Its exports were 56,953.5 and its imports were 50,170.2
29. Management of foreign currency budget 3.5
Current dollar to Colombian pesos 1778.4
Dollars 56,953.5 - 50,170.2 = 6,783.3 GDP 310.3806 billions
6,783.3 < 31,098.06 (10%GDP)
In 2011 Colombia's exports grew 43.0 % in comparison with 2010 exports, reaching US$56.953, 5 million in total exports. Its imports on the other hand increased by 33, 1% with relation with 2010, these imports was calculating to be on US$50.170, 2 million. The difference between the imports and exports is marginal compare to the 10% of the GDP. However, it is not close to zero either. The fact that Colombia poses a small surplus due to its exports a clear indicator that the Gov' and businesses are investing and growing at fast peace. However, this extra surplus could and will affect the overall Colombian economy generating and increase on the demand which will reduce supply that will rocket the inflation rates up.
30. Layers of collective action 2.0
One disadvantage caused by the 80's violence in Colombia was the huge wave of war refugees escaping from the rural areas and from the country itself, looking for security and economic stability. Sadly this was just the trigger for trend that still continuous in Colombia, the country occupies the third place with more people immigrating to U.S and other country overseas. Furthermore, within the country itself many of the province councils and small districts tend to be led by military force or non-local citizens.
http://www.migrationinformation.org/Profiles/display.cfm?ID=344 ; Personal source
31. Pro-business climate 4.1
Colombia is a free market economy, but it hasn't been like that before. Thanks to an internal arm conflict that delayed its development in the 80 n 90, the country has been working relentless to be more appealing to other international and national entrepreneurs. As a result, the Chamber of commerce is promoting a new program called “redes empresariales” (entrepreneurial networks). This program was created for building confidence and good relations between the businesses and their entrepreneurs. The vision of the Chamber Of Commerce is that of which domestic businesses cooperating with each other on the creation of horizontal and vertical integrations without losing control and ownership of their business will make up a better place for young entrepreneurs. These cooperation will open the doors for small and medium businesses bringing them guidance and monetary support from the government.
32. Government Enterprises: 4.0
Like many other countries around the world Colombia offered subside services to the poorest individual in the country looking to provide the basic standards of living. For example, health care, public education aid housing etc. aiming to reduce negative externalities. However, in regards to public enterprises Colombia has been very emphatic in promote fair competition, low tariffs, and incentives to private companies with exceptions in public services such as light, water and health.
33. International security agreements: 5.0
Colombia a member of the UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) formally joins to the South American defense Council in July 20, 2008. This council is basically a mechanism for regional security, promoting military co-operation and regional defense. Also, it is important to mention the prolific relation between Colombia and the U.S.A, which since 2001 has been contributing economically and military to fight against drug cartels and the terrorism within the country.
http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/trend-lines/11417/global-insider-unasur-defense-agencies-search-for-relevance ; http://www.unasurcds.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64&Itemid=177
34. Protection of domestic enterprises from government mandated costs: 4.0
The laws for protection of enterprises in Colombia have been on develop and continuous improvement since the early 90's. The first steps were taking in 1990 by former president Cesar Gaviria looking to deregulate and lowering the tariffs imposed by the Government. “Apertura Economica” or Economic Opening has led to an effective speed up in Gov' requirements and regulation costs. Some exceptions still on today such as the obligation for new business to create social funds for their employees and health care coverage. Nevertheless the cost and implementation of these requirements are almost inexpensive.
Indicator Colombia Latin America & Caribbean World Days to license 25.6 45.5 30.3 Senior management time spent dealing with the requirements of government regulation (%) 12.9 12.7 9.2 Days to obtain a construction-related permit 63.0 96.0 70.4 Number of visits or required meetings with tax officials 0.9 1.6 2.0 Days to obtain an import license 12.4 24.0 19.5 If there were visits, average number of visits or required meetings with tax officials 2.2 2.9 3.0 Percent of firms identifying business licensing and permits as a major constraint 10.5 15.9 15.6 Percent of firms identifying tax rates as a major constraint 39.2 35.1 35.2 Percent of firms identifying tax administration as a major constraint 28.6 22.7 23.2
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