"You have transformed this country and you are now on the precipice of an enormous possibility for resurgence," Biden stated in a speech attended by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
Biden’s arrival on Thursday came hours after the nation’s Congress approved a peace agreement between the government and a Marxist insurgency known by the Spanish acronym FARC.
"I view Colombia as the keystone, literally the keystone, to hemispheric prosperity," Biden remarked. He urged his audience to envision a continent of "middle class, democratic, independent" nations.
Two months ago Colombian voters narrowly rejected a peace accord approved by Congress. The latest deal, modified by lawmakers to address criticism of the earlier package, must be approved by voters to take effect.
For nearly 50 years, government forces and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, have waged a civil war that was funded in part by illicit drug exports.
The war killed more than 200,000 people and displaced more than 7 million.