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Colombia’s Economy Logging As you would expect in a tropical land, much of Colombia was initially ­forest-­covered. Centuries of cutting trees for domestic use and to clear land for farming have taken a severe toll on the country’s woodlands. Commercial logging, however, is of minor importance to the country’s economy. Most of the forested areas are in the eastern lowlands, which has a small population and poorly developed transportation linkages. Further, of the some 1,000 varieties of trees that grow in Colombia, only about 30 are commercially valuable. Those that are most prized are tropical hardwoods such as mahogany. In the tropics, trees do not grow in solid stands and, hence, are widely scattered and difficult to find in the dense rainforest. Also, as hardwoods, they do not float. In the absence of roads, it is difficult to transport cut timber to a saw or pulp mill. Only recently has replanting of deforested areas become common practice. Tropical lowlands may be planted with solid stands of ­fast-­growing species that yield wood for the pulp and paper industries. Deforested Andean slopes are being replanted with commercially valuable ­pines. Fishing Fishing is a poorly developed, yet growing industry in Colombia. Despite bordering on two oceans, most of the catch comes from freshwater inland sources. Domestic production cannot meet the local demand. Commercial species include tuna, sardines, shrimp, and oysters. The industry does hold some promise, and the government is improving fishing ­ industry­related facilities at Buenaventura, the country’s largest Pacific port. As a result, the catch has increased greatly during the past two ­decades. Secondary ­Industries Secondary industries include manufacturing and construction. Basically, they include the factories or other industries that use or process the raw materials provided by the primary ­ sector.



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