Investor confidence: Minibares Ltda has benefited from Colombia's economic stability and the increase in tourism.

Author:Bernal-Leon, Alberto J.


IF YOU WERE TO JUDGE the future of Colombia from what you read on Twitter, you would have a gloomy vision of what is to come. Every day, without exception, many of us who try to play an advocacy role on this social network receive striking insults largely for presenting numbers-backed evidence about pragmatic global issues. As many readers know, I am and will be a loyal advocate of the policies implemented by former President Advaro Uribe Velez, who pulled Colombia's economy out of a deep pit and left a country with abundant opportunities to continue down a path of economic progress and social inclusion as an inheritance to his successor, Juan Manuel Santos. I got a recent insult on Twitter from somebody who couldn't stand my presentation of logical evidence about the rise of the tourism sector since President Uribe took charge of the country.

Minibares Ltda. is a family company that has been fighting for years to generate worthy employment in Colombia. Minibares delivers soft drinks, vodkas, beer and crackers to business travelers returning to their hotel rooms after a long day of work, or to families on vacation. The company started more than 20 years ago as a dream of Dr. Carlos Jose Ruiz, its former president and majority shareholder. The company's ambition always has been to provide the best possible service to the "wandering tenants" of hotels in Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and, at one time, Venezuela.

The reader can imagine how Minibares' investment panned out in Venezuela. In the first four years (1999 to 2003), the business was profitable. But when 21st century socialism started to play out in full, the business got tough. Among other things, they couldn't find stable suppliers or prices, and the business became untenable. Given the adverse circumstances, Minibares pulled out of Venezuela in 2010 at the loss of 10 years of...

To continue reading