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Gabriel Duque

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Embassy of Colombia

Date of birth: April 13, 1961

Hometown: Bogota

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 2 (as of July 2018)

Gabriel Duque
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

Growing up, I was exposed to parts of Japanese culture such as anime, manga, food and art. During my engineering studies, I heard of Japan in the context of good business and productivity practices. Later on during graduate school, I had Japanese classmates. My first visit was in 2012, as vice-minister of trade when I participated in the first study group for the viability of an economic partnership agreement between Japan and Colombia.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

Firstly, “Life happens today. Tomorrow derives from doing your best right now.” Secondly, “Love knowledge and learning. Question and critically assess what you assume as true.” Thirdly, “No two lives are alike; everyone deserves respect.”

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

I have many things to feel proud of in my diverse career in the private, academia and public sectors. In the industry and private sectors, I made innovative administrative developments. In academia, I proposed new ideas and earned the respect of my students and peers, and in the public sector I have the satisfaction of having contributed to a better future for Colombians.
I feel most proud of the recognition I earned from my peers and friends for the dedication and effort I have exhibited in each of my endeavors.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

Japan and Colombia are natural allies. The friendship between both nations is based on the shared values of rule of law, democracy, peace and the protection of human rights. My main goal is to help deepen and widen the bilateral relations and all the legal and political bridges that enable it. I also wish to foster opportunities and facilitate matchmaking in the fields of politics, commerce, economy, culture, education and technology. Moreover, I believe that our economic exchanges have great potential given the relative size of our economies.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

Enjoy yourself, be curious and proactive. Curiosity leads to new life experiences and rich lessons. Enjoy your time and learn as much as you can from Japanese culture and values. Practice patience and respect. As a result, your lives will be enriched, and you will have more to share with family and friends when you return to your home country.

Last updated: Aug 27, 2018