This chapter includes the following articles.
As peace talks between the government of Juan Manuel Santos Calderón and the leaders of the FARC continue in an effort to end 51 years of armed conflict, Colombia’s political climate could now be on the verge of significant change. Both sides agreed in September 2015 to set a deadline by which a final peace accord must be signed – March 23, 2016. If achieved, a peace accord could bolster economic growth by up to 1.9 percentage points, according to the National Planning Department. As the government edges ever closer to signing a peace deal, it is becoming clear that a post-conflict Colombia will include both challenges and opportunities. Job creation and the establishment of infrastructure and state services, such as schools and hospitals, in former guerrilla strongholds will be key to reducing the wide gap between rural and urban areas.
This chapter includes interviews with President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón; María Ángela Holguín, Minister of Foreign Affairs; and José Ángel Gurría, Secretary-General, OECD.