Colombia is the fourth largest country in South America, with an area of 1,141,748 square km. The country is divided into 32 different states and has a population of about 48 million people, being the third largest Spanish-speaking population in the world. Colombia is a representative democracy with a central government. The country has also three branches of government: the Legislative, the Judiciary and the Executive. The presidential term lasts 4 years with the possibility of reelection. After more than 50 years of civil war and four years of negotiation, on 30 November 2016 the Colombian Congress approved a new peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Colombia is a free market economy, being the third largest in South America ($322 billion, 2011 est.) and is heavily dependent on exports such as coffee, flowers and petroleum. Colombia is a founding member of the Pacific Alliance and has free-trade agreements with many nations including the U.S. The economy of the country has been growing faster than the average in South America and foreign direct investment (FDI) has increased fivefold since 2000. Colombia has been ranked as the third most “Business Friendly” country in Latin America by the World Bank and also ranks as first for investor protection. Colombia also has a flexible exchange rate which has helped against external economic shocks.
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Colombia is currently undergoing large modernization efforts in transportation infrastructure throughout the country. One of the current government’s most ambitious projects has been the Fourth Generation (4G) public-private partnership (PPP) infrastructure program, which has slowly has continued to advance since its inauguration five years ago. Colombia currently has over a 1.9 million-mile network of roads that connect ports, cities and neighboring countries including Ecuador and Venezuela. The country also has four privatized and modernized main ports that permit the efficient movement of 144 million tons of freight per year as well as additional ports that specialize in certain exports like coal. Colombia also has twelve international airports that receive flights from Latin America, North America and Europe.