Computer giant Hewlett-Packard this year will bring to Colombia two innovative programs it is marketing worldwide aimed at entrepreneurs and students.

That is what H-P's general manager in the Andean nation, Eduardo Rueda, told Efe's Colombia.inn attributing the decision to the optimism over "Colombia's excellent economic finish in 2013" and the good forecast for 2014.

Colombia, according to official figures, grew 5.1 percent in the third quarter of 2013, with foreign direct investment rising in November to $15.17 billion.

"To be able to advance on matters of innovation, Colombia is facing an enormous challenge, which is education, because it not only needs to improve but fill the gap created by the lack of professionals in ICT (Information and Communication Technologies)," Rueda said.

"The first program is HP Live, which supports entrepreneurs so that they may be successful, and the second, which is going to (be introduced) in the first half of the year, is HP Institute, which will help close the technological knowledge gap that exists in the country," Rueda said.

HP Live is a worldwide program to train students, entrepreneurs and small business owners with the aim of putting into practice business and ICT skills.

HP Institute, meanwhile, is an academic alliance that provides IT experience to students and is designed for those who are starting their careers in that area. EFE