Colombia’s president: China forward of US in strategic infrastructure bidding, requires securing 5G networks

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EXCLUSIVE: Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez inspired the U.S. to step up its strategic infrastructure bidding in Latin America, saying the nation is way behind China on that entrance, and likewise pressured that guaranteeing 5G has the tightest cybersecurity protections accessible is crucial accelerating into one other “industrial revolution.”

Fox Information sat down with President Duque throughout an unique interview forward of an occasion marking 200 years of diplomatic relations between Colombia and the USA Thursday.

In response to a query about whether or not China’s affect in Latin America is a priority, Duque mentioned he doesn’t contemplate China’s strategic commerce and infrastructure investments in his nation a “risk.”


I’ve mentioned that Colombia has a industrial relation with China, a commerce relationship, because the U.S. has a commerce relationship with China. And we have now seen Chinese language firms come to Colombia to take part in infrastructure bids, they usually have received some. They’ve misplaced others. And many individuals ask me, for instance, if I contemplate {that a} risk, I do not contemplate that as a risk,” mentioned Duque.

President Xi Jinping of China has invested in Latin America's strategic infrastructure.

President Xi Jinping of China has invested in Latin America’s strategic infrastructure.
(Getty Photographs |  iStock)

“I at all times attempt to name different nations to actively take part within the strategic infrastructure biddings that we have now. We’ve not seen that a lot American corporations taking part. And I believe they need to take part. They need to be extra current, not solely in Colombia however in the remainder of Latin America, as a result of these guys’ biddings are clear, they’re open, however it’s nice to see extra U.S. funding taking part in these sorts of tasks,” the president continued.

“So do I contemplate that having Chinese language investing in infrastructure is one thing unfavorable? No, I do not consider it, as a result of it is a clear bid. And clearly, the opposite nice debate that we have now is now on know-how and the way in which that 5G networks work.”

Duque advised Fox Information that though he believes 5G is the trail ahead for a “fourth industrial revolution,” it is crucial that any 5G growth is enacted with the best cybersecurity measures in place.

“I believe all of us need to be clear that we need to broaden the 5G networks as a result of that clearly is the accelerator of the fourth industrial revolution. However we have now to search out corporations that may certainly be sure that there’s going to be an information safety and that the information gathered in all of the operation isn’t going for use for a unfavorable or for an additional function that isn’t respectable.”

Colombia's President Ivan Duque waves during a press conference at police headquarters in Bogota, Sept. 19, 2018.

Colombia’s President Ivan Duque waves throughout a press convention at police headquarters in Bogota, Sept. 19, 2018.
(AP Photograph/Fernando Vergara)

“So I believe that dialogue isn’t solely in Colombia, it is a worldwide dialogue. And clearly nations that need to take part with their corporations, all of them have to make sure that they’ve the best cybersecurity requirements. If they do not have it, they merely can not take part.”

The president advised Fox Information that the U.S. and Colombia’s “lengthy relationship based mostly on ideas and values” has opened the door for tons of of corporations to do enterprise in Colombia, noting that greater than 100 U.S. corporations have been within the nation for greater than 50 years. 

“And that demonstrates that corporations can come to Colombia, and they are going to be obtained with open doorways and likewise with a pro-market financial system set of insurance policies and with the concept of strengthening bilateral commerce. One factor that I’ve to rejoice is that as we speak we have now a free commerce settlement that permits merchandise from Colombia to get to the USA and from the USA to enter to Colombia. And this creates an interdependency that turns into a everlasting alternative for every kind of entrepreneurs in the USA. Now we see folks involving in nonconventional renewable energies in fintech, govtech, agritech, but in addition in every kind of companies.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People on April 8 in Beijing.

Chinese language President Xi Jinping attends a ceremony on the Nice Corridor of the Individuals on April 8 in Beijing.
(AP Photograph/Ng Han Guan)

Duque additionally praised the state of U.S. safety cooperation with Colombia, saying that shut coordination between the nations has spurred better “regulation and order” in his state.

“I believe Plan Colombia is among the main diplomatic success that the U.S. can declare in latest historical past with Latin America. Twenty years in the past, Colombia was on the brink of being thought of a failed state. And when Plan Colombia started, we have been capable of strengthen our safety forces and strengthen the Colombian state. And I believe we have now demonstrated that with regulation and order, we have now dismantled probably the most brutal terrorist organizations. And perhaps two main milestones that we will name as we speak is first, that in my administration, we have now reached the bottom murder charges in four-term interval on common within the final 40 years.”


Plan Colombia was an support bundle signed by the Clinton administration in 2000 to supply safety and financial growth to Colombia. The measure was designed to assist the Latin American nation fight drug trafficking, spur financial development and improve coordination between the nations.

Duque continued to tout how Plan Colombia helped his nation: “For instance, we have now gone to the bottom kidnapping charges ever registered by Colombia, and we have now reached document highs in drug seizures, and we have now reached document highs in drug-producing labs destruction. And we have now been capable of principally dismantle every kind of legal organizations.”

“And lastly, the nice demonstration is what occurred to Clan del Golfo for probably the most brutal cartel in Colombia and perhaps with probably the most brutal and narco trafficking kingpin on the planet, who was referred to as ‘Otoniel,’ who we captured. And he is now extradited, and he is now in a jail in New York Metropolis,” the president advised Fox Information.

“And I believe that is an indication that after we work along with our intelligence, with all our capacities, there is not any one that may be past the regulation,” Duque concluded.

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