Leading the reactivation of Colombian tourism, the challenge of the new Minister

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Leading the reactivation of Colombian tourism, the challenge of the new Minister
Source: MINCIT
Tue June 08, 2021

María Ximena Lombana Villalba will be responsible for integrating the efforts of all entities in the sector


With the instruction to lead the safe reactivation of the Colombian economy, the President of the Republic, Iván Duque Márquez, appointed attorney María Ximena Lombana Villalba as Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

“You take on the portfolio in these times of great challenges. Our country is resilient, our private sector is resilient, and the support of the State is resilient. We want all the industrial and commercial sectors of the country to move forward this year, ”said the president.

He instructed the Minister to work on strengthening the tools that were launched this week, aimed at MSMEs and the agricultural sector with new tax terms, credits and guarantees for producers.

He pointed out that an attention program should be developed to mitigate the effects that unemployment and blockades have caused to the productive sectors, especially in the southeastern part of the country.

He also highlighted the rebound that exports have been showing and that should continue, hand in hand with the development of an industrial sector focused on international markets, in order to continue with achievements such as the arrival, in recent days, of the Colombian Hass avocado to Korea.

Participation in the Andean Community, the promotion of Collective Benefit and Interest companies (BIC), the Simple State strategy, Agile Colombia, and the revitalization of tourism, were added to the priorities set by the President.

Iván Duque highlighted the professional career of the new official, especially her work in commercial diplomacy, construction of international treaties and promotion of national production in the world markets and at the center of the fourth industrial revolution.

Indeed, Minister Maria Ximena Lombana Villalba will have the responsibility of integrating the efforts of all entities in the sector, businessmen, local authorities and other institutions of the national government, with the common purpose of channeling this collective work to create jobs, move the economy, promote social development and link young people to productive activity.

Its challenges include consolidating ongoing strategies such as Economy for People and promoting regulation, as well as the application of two legal instruments that are important for business development: the Tourism Law and the Entrepreneurship Law.

For Tourism, one of the activities most affected by the pandemic but, at the same time, one of those with the greatest projection in the national economy, the agenda includes sustainable tourism, cultural tourism and competitiveness as a destination led by Fontur.

The Entrepreneurship Law is connected to all government actions to favor both entrepreneurs and MSMEs, where the Colombia Productiva programs and the initiatives for innovators managed by iNNpulssa are the protagonists.

In foreign trade, the purpose is to reach US $ 25,500 million in 2022 in non-mining-energy exports, through commercial and health diplomacy instruments, plus promotion of the country as a destination for investment and tourism, and also as a provider of goods and services, work in which the management of ProColombia is relevant.

The new Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Maria Ximena Lombana Villalba, is a lawyer from Santander, with master's degrees in International Business Law and Commercial Law. He has more than 20 years of professional experience where he has alternated the exercise of law with the investigation of legal issues, conflict arbitration, diplomacy, project management, teaching and public service.

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