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President Duque & Ian Bremmer In Conversation

Main Stage

Media Partner: NTN24



    • For Iván Duque Márquez, social media can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it represents an extremely powerful tool that allows for a more direct conversation with citizens. On the other hand, social media algorithms often make it so that users receive biased information that paints a misleading picture of reality. 
    • President Duque argued that multilateralism was not leveraged enough at the onset of the pandemic. Because of protectionist tendencies and a lack of coordination among countries, COVID-19 tests, ventilators, and other materials were difficult to access, especially in developing countries. Now, five months later, multilateral coordination has seen a significant improvement. 
    • President Duque asserted that Colombia has coped with the pandemic remarkably well. In a mere five months, Colombia more than doubled its intensive care unit capacity and set up around 100 advanced laboratories capable of processing high-dimension reactives. The Colombian government has subsidized the payroll of many hard-hit businesses, provided generous loans to many small- and medium-sized enterprises, vastly expanded its conditional cash transfer programs, and started a program to ensure that the most vulnerable families remain food-secure. The nation is outperforming its peers in both the developed and developing world, including Mexico, Chile, Peru, the U.S., Germany, and the U.K., when it comes to deaths per million, and is now resuming economic activities at a steady and promising rate.
    • 2022 will be an election year for Colombia. President Duque cautioned that populist, demagogic candidates will be seeking to exploit the pandemic-induced anger and exasperation of citizens, and reassured the audience that he will work hard to make sure that citizens can access facts and participate in transparent, sound, and vibrant political debates.
  • “I’m going to work very hard so that Colombians can have the best, sound, transparent, and necessary political debate, so that decisions made in 2022 are not based on polarization, are not based on demagoguery, and are not based on populism,” Iván Duque Márquez



Key takeaways & next steps:

  • President Duque cautioned against using pre-COVID metrics to assess the current economic situation. New metrics attuned to current economic challenges need to be developed. 
  • President Duque advised against implementing tax reforms during COVID-19. While fiscal stability cannot be ignored, the priority right now should be to resume economic growth.



Session Speakers