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HomeNewsColombia’s Deputy Foreign Minister attends working meeting at the University of Liechtenstein

Colombia’s Deputy Foreign Minister attends working meeting at the University of Liechtenstein

On Friday, 8 March 2013, the University of Liechtenstein welcomed two high-ranking officials from Colombia, Dr.  Monica Lanzetta Mutti, the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister, and Claudia Turbay Quintero, Colombia’s ambassador to Switzerland.

On Friday, 8 March 2013, the University of Liechtenstein welcomed two high-ranking officials from Colombia, Dr.  Monica Lanzetta Mutti, the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister, and Claudia Turbay Quintero, Colombia’s ambassador to Switzerland.

In collaboration with, and thanks to input from, Claudia Turbay Quintero, Professor Hansjörg Hilti, the former Vice-Rector for Research and Transfer at the University of Liechtenstein, Fernando Grillo, Embassy Counsellor to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and the Mundo Latino association, a lively cultural and university-level exchange with Colombia has been taking place for some years now.


From left to right: Simon Mittermeier (project team member at the International Office), Fernando Grillo (Embassy Counsellor to Switzerland and Liechtenstein), Trudi Ackermann (Head of the International Office), Jan vom Brocke (Vice-Rector for Research and Transfer), Claudia Turbay Quintero (Colombian ambassador to Switzerland), Hansjörg Hilti (Professor Emeritus), Dr. Monica Lanzetta Mutti (Colombian Deputy Foreign Minister), Alfonso Soria Mendoza (Director for Europe in the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Colombia), Gabriela Cortés (International Office).

Thus the university has in the past been able to welcome as guests the famous Colombian author and journalist Hector Abad Faciolince as well as the musician Hernando Leal.


A lively cultural and university-level exchange 
The signing of a bilateral agreement with the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellin at the beginning of 2012 and the lecture at the University of Liechtenstein by the architect Simón Vélez, known as the “Pope of bamboo architecture”, were a clear signal for the further expansion of a fruitful collaboration. In October 2012, Professor Hansjörg

Hilti then visited the university in Medellin to give two lectures there. He also delivered a talk as part of the “Science and Development” symposium organized by The Colombian Association of Researchers in Switzerland (ACIS) in Lausanne in November 2012.




A successful and close collaboration
Over the past years, Claudia Turbay Quintero has shown herself to be a reliable partner who is interested in the further expansion of these relations. As the Colombian ambassador in Bern, she represents an important interface between the University of Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Embassy Counsellor Fernando Grillo has also distinguished himself through his intensive efforts on behalf of an active and lively partnership between Colombia and Liechtenstein.




Interest in economic issues

Against this backdrop of established relations, various topics concerning architecture and planning were on the agenda for the visit by the Colombian delegation on 8 March 2013. In specific terms, discussions were held concerning the planning of a visit by students to Colombia under the guidance of Simón Vélez.

“During the students’ stay in Colombia, social housing is to be constructed in a slum area using bamboo as a building material,” states Hansjörg Hilti, Professor Emeritus. As the former Director of the ProExport Chamber of Commerce in Caracas as well as a one-time columnist at the daily paper El Espectador, writing on issues relating to international markets and trade, Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Monica Lanzetta Mutti also proved knowledgeable of, and interested in, economic matters as well as the activities undertaken in this area by the University of Liechtenstein. 




Focusing on increasing productivity
There was particular interest in questions pertaining to increasing productivity in many areas of public and economic life, for example in agriculture, administration, education and health care. Here, specific ideas were developed regarding the extent to which IT and process management skills at the University of Liechtenstein can help bring further development to various sectors in Colombia.

“The meeting was very stimulating and productive,” says Professor Jan vom Brocke, Vice-Rector for Research and Transfer, Head of the Institute of Information Systems and holder of the Hilti Chair of Business Process Management. “The fact that know-how at the University of Liechtenstein is sought after in order to solve important future topics in our partner country is a very positive signal,” the Vice-Rector continues. “The successful collaboration over the past years forms an excellent basis for tackling these topics together,” explains Trudi Ackerman, Head of the International Office.



Overall, there were opportunities on both sides for an instructive exchange of ideas, which not least addressed possible future forms of collaboration between the University of Liechtenstein and an up-and-coming Colombia.