(Photo: Microsoft)

The Colombian government and software giant Microsoft have signed an agreement in Washington DC to help Colombia boost its information and communications technology capacity.

The Colombian Ministry of Information Technology and Communications said the agreement, would help fight cybercrime and improve technology literacy in the country, reported Colombia’s El Espectador newspaper on Wednesday night.

According to a recent report by global auditing firm KPMG, cyber-crime caused economic damage of about $550 million last year in Colombia, which is equivalent to 0.15% of Colombia’s GDP for 2012.

“We must have projects that lead us to have more secure systems, qualified talent and implement projects Colombia to take to be a modern country,” Colombian Minister of Information Technology and Communications, Diego Molano said in a statement.

Under the agreement, signed Wednesday, Microsoft would offer official certification to information technology students and strengthen its cyber-crime fighting capacity in the country.

The announcement comes only a week after Microsoft said it would be opening an anti-cyber crime office in Colombia to work with authorities to help secure computers and information networks as part of Latin America’s fight against cyber crime.

MORE: Microsoft opens office in Colombia to fight Latin American cyber crime


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