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Colombia - Prosperity Team Bulletin

Number 16, October – December 2016

Buckingham Palace
Photo: Internet File

Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II received President Santos at Buckingham Palace for his State Visit to the UK during 1 to 3 November. This was the first State Visit for a Colombian head of state and was a sign of the strong diplomatic relations between Colombia and the UK and a symbol of UK support for the Colombian peace process.


UK and Colombia make important announcements during President Santos State Visit to the UK, including £25mn of prosperity programming and a £20mn Newton Fund programme.

primera dama
Photo: Internet File

Prosperity supported key deliverables, including:

  • The announcement of prosperity programming of up to £25 million for Colombia.
  • The Newton Fund announced a £20m joint UK/Colombia collaboration to support Colombia Bio, a Presidential initiative to sustainably exploit Colombia’s biodiversity.
  • A bilateral Double Taxation Agreement.
  • A bilateral Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of degrees.

Photo: Internet File

UK sponsors the prestigious XIII National Infrastructure Congress in Cartagena

Photo: Internet File

UK (DIT) sponsored the XIII National Infrastructure Congress in Cartagena (23-25 November). In a keynote speech, HMA highlighted UK infrastructure expertise and promoted Prosperity-funded infrastructure projects delivered through UK companies ARUP, McBains Cooper, Mott McDonald, Currie&Brown. The Congress, attended by President Santos, Ex Vice President German Vargas, Ministry of Transport and the Minister of Finance, is the key infrastructure event of the year. DIT sponsorship enabled unrivalled access to senior government officials for both DIT, Prosperity and UK companies.


In the third quarter of 2016/2017, Prosperity Section from the British Embassy in Colombia, has delivered the following key activities:

11-20 October. Visit by Head of the Forest Investments, BEIS, for the REDD+ Early Movers Mission in Bogota: Sean Frisby, Head of Forest Investments at BEIS, accompanied by Andres Comba (Prosperity), participated in the first REDD+ Early Movers Mission in Bogota and San Jose del Guaviare. The event brought together representatives from key donor countries – UK, Norway and Germany – and the Colombian Government to review the implementation of Amazon Vision and define next steps. The mission included a field trip to San Jose del Guaviare to meet local government representatives and community members.

Photo: Colombia – Prosperity Bulletin, Number 16.

12 October. Representatives from Living PlanIT launched the official partnership with BD Guidance: Living PlanIT (a UK organisation focus on big data, smart cities, infrastructure and community development) launched the official partnership with BD Guidance (a company which promotes global expansion of innovative technologies). This event gathered representatives from Antioquia, Valle and Bolivar Governor’s Office to explain the region needs in specific areas where the companies provided potential big data solutions.

28-29 November. Prosperity attended the National Forum on Renewable Energy: Prosperity attend the National Forum on Renewable Energy in Barranquilla, opened by the Deputy Head of Mission and the Head of the National Infrastructure Agency , Luís Andrade. The participants discussed the implementation of the Colombian Law on renewables (Law 1715), and the development and use of non conventional energy in the country. Exergy (UK experts on energy efficiency) presented their activities in Medellin as part of a Prosperity Fund project.


6 October. Prosperity hosted a presentation on the Yr2-5 Prosperpity Fund for potential partners: Prosperity hosted an event at the Residence to present the framework and priorities of the Yr2-5 Prosperity Fund in Colombia. This event gathered representatives from numerous UK and international companies, multinational organisations and not for profit agencies. The Prosperity Fund Programme Manager outlined next steps for the programme and sought initial expressions of interest for engagement on the key themes of institutional capacity building, anti-corruption, urban development, rail development, and agriculture.

13 October. Inspector of UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) visits Colombia as a keynote speaker on offshore regulation, and leads a workshop: Prosperity prepared James Munro, Offshore Oil and Gas inspector from (HSE), the agenda for his visit to Colombia. He was a key note international speaker in offshore regulation and shared the experience of the offshore industry in the UK at the exploration and production offshore, a competitive bid for Colombia forum held by the National hydrocarbons agency (ANH) and Foro Semana.

Photo: Colombia – Prosperity Bulletin, Number 16.

He also visited Colombia in November to led the first workshop with Ecopetrol, Anadarco, National hydrocarbons agency (ANH), Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Environment. The event brought together inspectors from different branches of the Pacific and Atlantic coast of the Ministry of Labour to train in offshore oil and gas health and safety.

19-28 October. Mott MacDonald second field visit to present the waste management plan in Nuqui and Guapi: As part of the PF project to “Introduce sustainable waste management to the Pacific Region of Colombia”, Mott MacDonald organised the second field visit to Bogotá, Nuquí and Guapí to present the first version of the management plan and visited the recycling facilities.

17-22 November. McBains Cooper trained governmental officials in PPPs: As part of the PF project “Capacity building for the PPP Unit in Medellin to enable PPP projects to be brought to market and successfully attract domestic and international investment”, McBains Cooper organised a visit to Bucaramanga and Barranquilla. Secretariats of Planning were trained in the use and delivery of PPPs. In Barranquilla, the workshop was opened by the Governor of Atlantico, Eduardo Verano de la Rosa and the Deputy Head of Mission.

Photo: Colombia – Prosperity Bulletin, Number 16.

30 November. R3 held a land rehabilitation workshop in Colombia: R3 Environmental Technology (a UK consultancy specialising in the re-use of wastes) ran a workshop as part of the PF project “Strategies for rehabilitating mercury-contaminated mining lands for renewable energy and other self-sustaining re-use strategies” to share their evaluation of land contamination problems in Colombia. Representatives from the Ministry of Mines and Energy and Ministry of Environment participated and explained the Colombian government’s current strategy and policies on the issue.

Photo: Colombia – Prosperity Bulletin, Number 16.

1-2 December. Carbon Trust second workshop on energy efficiency and boilers: Carbon Trust (UK expert in carbon reduction, efficiency strategies and low carbon technologies) organised a workshop as part of the PF project “Catalysing energy efficiency in the Colombian industrial sector” with representatives from the private sector. Carbon Trust shared all the research findings on energy efficiency and boiler upgrades. Representatives from the private sector shared their experience, discussed the research findings and agreed that the results were aligned with the sector needs.

1-2 December. Exergy final workshop in Medellin and announcement of a new office in Colombia: Exergy (UK Energy & Renewable Consultancy) as part of the PF project: “New technologies for waste treatment and energy generation that helps accelerate Colombia’s transition to a low carbon economy” presented the findings of a pre-feasibility study on transformation of waste into energy for the city of Medellin, involving participants from other municipalities.

Exergy also announced the opening of a subsidiary of their company in Medellin, as a direct result of the PF project’s success.


3-7 October. Colombia Bio mission to Cundinamarca, Boyacá, Risaralda and Nariño departments: Newton Fund and Colciencias organised the ColombiaBio mission with Newton Delivery Partners includingInnovate UK, Royal Academy of Engineering and British Council. The mission’s aim was to explore and agree the focus of a major new Newton Fund programme in Colombia on bio, worth £20mn.

Photo: Colombia – Prosperity Bulletin, Number 16.

8-16 November. Regional BioNano Consulting programme on science, technology and information in Cali, Bucaramanga and Barranquilla: Newton Fund, BioNano Consulting and Colciencias organized the regional BioNano Consulting STI mapping programme with representatives from UK and Colombian companies in Cali, Bucaramanga and Barranquilla. The workshops build capacity to develop STI projects in order to access the Government’s Royalties funding.

Photo: Colombia – Prosperity Bulletin, Number 16.

30 November. Newton Fund attended the International workshop on marine and river power in Colombia: The Royal Academy of Engineering (a Newton Fund delivery partner) organised the International workshop on marine and river power in Medellin with UK scientistific representatives. The workshop shared expertise and experiences on sea and river technologies to create opportunities for future collaboration and cooperation in Colombia.