with an elevated status as an economic influencer—one with a hunger for
projects and a growing need for project practitioners.
“I am very optimistic,” says Diego Sánchez Brand, PMP, a project manager
at Piping Specialists International, a pipeline engineering company based in
Bogotá. “There is a lot of investment in Colombia. There are new projects here
New projects are symptomatic of a new Colombia. For Latin America’s
fourth-biggest country, the economic news has been good and getting better.
In 2014, it surpassed Argentina as the third-largest economy in Latin America
behind Mexico and Brazil, according to research firm Capital Economics. In
2013, Colombia achieved 4. 3 percent GDP growth, compared to 2. 4 percent for
the global economy. It has the third-most business-friendly economy in Latin
America, behind only Chile and Peru, according to the World Bank. Meanwhile,
foreign direct investment in Colombia grew from US$1.8 billion in 2003 to
US$16.8 billion in 2013.
“Colombia in the last 14 years has seen many changes,” says Eugenio Jose
Barrios Mendoza, PMP, a project engineer who works in Barranquilla, Colombia. “In the ’80s and ’90s, we had many problems with insurgents and narcotics.
Then, in 1998, we had an economic crisis. After that, in 2000, the government
started making political decisions to improve the development of the country.
We began to see a new face of Colombia.”
If Colombia’s old face belonged to FARC—a
group of guerrillas that has engaged in illegal activ-
ity such as drug trafficking in the Colombian rain
forest since 1964—its new face belongs to Juan
Manuel Santos Calderón, who was elected to a
second term as Colombia’s president in June 2014.
“This president has been working on a peace
treaty with the guerrillas, which is something
we’re very confident we’ll achieve,” says IT proj-
ect manager Jorge Francisco Henao Pérez, PMP,
who most recently served as Andean area IT
manager in the Bogotá office of Amway. “This
has given companies the confidence they need
to invest here.”
“In the last 10 to 15 years, our economy has
grown much faster than other Latin American
countries,” says Rodrigo Vargas, PMP, a construc-
Colombia has emerged
from its troubled past
“In 2000, the government
started making political
decisions to improve
the development of the
country. We began to see
a new face of Colombia.”
—Eugenio Jose Barrios Mendoza, PMP,
Playas de Cartagena in