Juan Manuel Santos (Photo: President's Office)

Canada’s Scotiabank announced it will be donating $75,000 to President Juan Manuel Santos’ “From Zero to Always” child services initiative, after meeting with the President Monday to discuss Colombia’s economic outlook.

MORE: Colombia will have invested $4 billion in child services by the end of 2014: President Santos 

Santos said of the donation that the Canadian bank “invested in the right place at the right time,” using the rest of the meeting to tout recent successes in Colombia’s “efforts to integrate itself into the world.”

In particular, the president highlighted his $24.5 billion “Highways for Prosperity” initiative, which he claims will raise Colombian infrastructure to the “level” the country currently occuppies in international standing.

MORE: Colombia’s $24.5 billion infrastructure plan approved by public spending watchdog 

By way of demonstrating that level, the President also listed a series of economic statistics Colombia Reports was unable to verify, including that Colombia has the highest level of job creation in Latin America over the past three years and has experienced more middle class growth than any country in the region.

Other examples of Colombia heading in the “right direction” included the free trade policies and increased foreign investment Santos has strongly supported.

The President, who acknowledged that Colombia still faces poverty rates estimated to be above 30%, made a pitch for Colombia as the most “attractive” destination for foreing investment in Latin America.

Last year, Scotiabank purchsed majority stakes in a Colombian bank, and Canadian companies have become increasingly involved in large-scale mining operations in Colombia, which led, in part, to the recent kidnapping of one Canadian mining official by the ELN. Canada is also several countries that share free trade agreements with Colombia.

MORE: Scotiabank completes 51% purchase of Colpatria 

MORE: ELN releases Canadian hostage kidnapped in Northern Colombia 

Sources

 

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