Ambassador Jaramillo said that despite all the adversities in the two centuries since the foundation of Columbia, it had managed to overcome these problems and was moving towards progress every day. Colombia was a modern country brought together by hope and inspired by faith, and where the future was for everyone.

The ambassador said Europe had accompanied closely Colombia’s process of independence and always manifested its affection for her country. This unconditional support had been recently renewed in favour of today’s peace process through the stabilisation and consolidation program that is a priority for the President, Iván Duque.

Hungary had not been an exception, and its support was essential in this process, the ambassador said. The result of the approach by both countries was the reopening of the Embassy of Hungary in Bogotá in the second semester of 2017, and the reopening of Colombia’s Embassy in Budapest in the second semester of 2018, where she has the honour to represent her country. This reopening had been made possible due to the strong cooperation with the Republic of Perú, with which Colombia shared its office in Budapest.

A bit more than a year after the creation of the embassy, a number of important successes had been achieved, which included:

  • The first presidential visit of Colombia in Hungary, followed by a high-level negotiation forum.
  • The visit of László Kövér, President of the Hungarian National Assembly, to Colombia.
  • The first technical meeting of the Pacific Alliance and the Visegrád Group under the respective Presidency of Hungary and Colombia.
  • The launch of an alternative development project of the Colombian Amazonia by technological transfer from Hungary, financed by the European Union in the value of EUR 2.5 million. A high-level delegation of Corpoamazonia had come from Colombia especially to join the Proclamation of Independence celebration. Their directors presented a video about this successful project aiming at the protection of flora and fauna, and the replacement of illegal products with legal ones. This was a reliable example of how Hungary was also contributing to the consolidation of peace in Colombia.
  • The first knowledge exchange in sports diplomacy regarding swimming, which earned the embassy the recognition of the Competitive Sports Federation as one of the three embassies that contributed most to strengthen Hungary's sports relations in 2018, next to Austria and Mexico.
  • The visit of the largest delegation of academics from Colombia to Hungary in the history of the two countries’ diplomatic relations, with 45 Colombian professors and researchers, who participated in the 19th FIEALC Congress at the University of Szeged in June 2019.
  • An intense cultural program, with exhibitions, dance shows, music and cinema.

Ambassador Jaramillo said these achievements inspire everyone to work with more determination to bring the nations even closer together.

# Colombia's Ambassador to Hungary Carmenza Jaramillo

"Colombia wants to strengthen and develop, and the increase of tourism the last year, as well as the economic statistics of the country show us that we are on the right track. The International Monetary Fund estimates that Colombia will have one of the largest GDP growths in Latin America in 2019, of 3.5%, practically equal with Chile, which would grow to 3.4%, and just behind Peru, with its expansion of 3.9%.

"These three countries, along with Mexico, form one of the most dynamic integration groups worldwide: The Pacific Alliance. Hungary is an observer state of the Pacific Alliance and has been an active country in the development of projects, particularly in the field of education and environment.

"With my colleagues, Ambassadors from Chile, Mexico and Peru, we are intensifying the Pacific Alliance's relations with Hungary, and recently we had the opportunity to present its virtues to the Hungarian National Assembly."

Ambassador Jaramillo said she would like to talk about the aspect that defines Colombia the best: its diversity. "We are the number one country in the diversity of birds, orchids and, along with Brazil, we are the most mega diverse of the world. Two oceans bathe our shores – the Atlantic and the Pacific –, we are a nation with excellent gastronomy and traditions, we are always joyful and receive everybody with open arms.

"We are a young, technological and innovative nation, which facilitates an access to technology free of charge, which has achieved great developments in digital matters and a creative economy, the latter also called as "naranja" (orange) by President Mr. Iván Duque in his well-known book "La economía naranja: una oportunidad infinita para América Latina" (The Orange Economy: An Infinite Opportunity for Latin America).

"Furthermore, Colombia has become one of the most interesting countries in the sector of financial technology."

The ambassador said she celebrated with lots of emotion and happiness the Bicentennial of Colombia in the beautiful country of Hungary, a great nation that in the twentieth century knew how to overcome two world wars and a Soviet oppression. Hungary was today an example for Colombia and for the world.

On August 7, Colombia would celebrate, in addition to the Proclamation of the Republic, the 200 years since the victorious Battle of Boyacá, where the military genius, the liberator Simón Bolívar triumphed over the colonial armies of Spain.

"As Ambassador to Hungary and especially as a Colombian citizen, there is no greater pride or more fraternal gesture of friendship than to be able to see this year, on the occasion of our 200th Anniversary, the Chain Bridge, the most representative symbol of Budapest, illuminated with the colours of our national flag.

"I would like to reiterate our deepest gratitude to the Hungarian authorities and invite you all to come next Wednesday to take beautiful photos and share them as a symbol of friendship between our peoples. This bridge, the first one that permanently united Buda and Pest, will link two continents in our spirit, starting next August 7."

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