“With the correct measures, Colombia could triple its energy potential” — Rick Perry, US Secretary of Energy at Concordia in Bogotá

On the first day of the 2019 Concordia Americas Summit, important multilateral agreements were signed between the United States and Colombia, including the addition of US $160 million from USAID for bilateral cooperation and the memorandum of understanding for a framework of cooperation on energy issues between both countries…

Within the framework of the 2019 Concordia Americas Summit, which takes place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bogotá until tomorrow, the Secretary of Energy of the United States, Rick Perry, highlighted the energy potential of Colombia and the opportunities that its use can bring for the creation of new jobs.

The Secretary affirmed that the country could “triple its production if it applies the correct measures that allow innovation and technology to contribute in the diversification of the country’s technological matrix”. Related to this, he highlighted his experience as Governor of Texas, in which, thanks to incentives for the development of ventures related to the energy sector, the production of clean energy is now “higher than that of the European Union.”

“When in 2005 some experts claimed that energy sources in Texas were drained, we began to find alternatives for the exploration and responsible exploitation of unconventional deposits. We also began to produce wind energy at low cost and began the gas transformation of inefficient industries. Thanks to this we managed to lower the CO2 emissions by 20% in the last decade,” said Perry.

The Minister of Mines & Energy of Colombia, María Fernanda Suárez, highlighted the efforts of the government to increase the country’s energy matrix through various initiatives, among which is the promotion of clean energy. Suárez pointed that in the National Development Plan 2018 – 2022, approved by the Congress of the Republic, tax incentives were established for this purpose.

Other announcements from the 2019 Concordia Americas Summit

  • Secretary Perry and Minister Suárez, in the presence of the President of the Republic of Colombia, Iván Duque, and the Colombian Foreign Affairs Minister, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday to establish a framework for cooperation in energy matters between Colombia and the United States.

The agreement establishes cooperation activities such as the provision of technical assistance, the exchange of knowledge and information, and the offer of training and services, which seek to promote, mainly, energy transformation.

  • President Duque and the General Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Mark Green, formalized on Monday the amendment to the Bilateral Agreement between the two governments, where 169 million dollars were added to the cooperation for the rural and social development of Colombia.

The new resources will be allocated to areas such as: the strengthening of the presence of the state in 67 municipalities covered by development programs with a territorial approach; rural economic development; conservation of biodiversity, such as closing gaps in access to drinking water or allowing families of small producers, who are geographically isolated, to benefit from the commercialization of their products.

  • A multi-stakeholder coalition to catalyze private sector investment in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Colombia met to launch Plataforma 17. This initiative seeks the country’s economic growth through mixed financial support for sustainable development projects that have a real impact on the current social and political problems of Colombia. Among the actors belonging to this platform are: the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF); The UN Multiparty Trust Fund for Post-Conflict of the UN; the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Organization; and Mutual Empathy.

The 2019 Concordia Americas Summit will continue with its agenda tomorrow with high-level personalities, among which stand out: Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Labor of the United States; Mark Green, CEO of USAID; Carlos Veccio, Ambassador assigned by Juan Guaidó in the United States; Marta Lucía Ramírez, Vice President of Colombia; singer Juan Fonseca; and, Salvador Pérez, Vice President of Public Affairs for Latin America and the Caribbean, VISA.

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