BERLIN – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos highlighted his administration’s achievements on his last official visit to Germany, where he spoke with businessmen on Wednesday.
Santos – who was welcomed by his counterpart, Frank Walter Steinmeier, with full military honors – urged German businessmen to invest in Colombia, saying that the country has a promising outlook following his eight-year tenure in office.
“We are handing over a country that is quite a bit better than when we accepted it,” Santos said, summarizing his administration’s achievements in Colombia.
To illustrate, he said that, upon taking office, he and his team identified three stumbling blocks for growth, the main one being the FARC guerrillas, in the face of which he launched a peace process that culminated in an agreement in November 2016.
“If we look at what has been given to the FARC, as well as what the Colombian people have received, we cansee the importance of the dividends yielded by the peace process,” Santos added.
He cited the huge gap between rich and poor as the second obstacle – which, according to Santos, was reduced during his administration – while the third was an infrastructure problem and a lack of schools, both of which have been tackled through public funding.
One of the sectors boosted by Santos’ administration has been tourism, in which he encouraged German businessmen to invest, also pointing to the increased investments in infrastructure, education and technology, which he said his government had pushed and should continue to keep improving the country’s competitiveness.
His successor – who will take office in about three months – will have a good starting point to continue this evolution, he said.
Santos’ visit to Germany is part of his European tour, which will also take him to Hungary – where he is set to inaugurate the new Colombian embassy – as well as to Italy.