Ten years ago, it was a brave multinational corporation that dared to set up operations in Colombia, then a hotbed for drug-related violence.

Times have changed, however, and the country has become one of the new darlings for multinationals willing to take on a level of risk beyond the BRICs—Brazil, Russia, China and India.

W.W. Grainger, the Lake Forest, Ill., distributor of industrial supplies, entered Colombia in 2010. Earlier, Grainger had pushed into the Asia-Pacific region, moving into China in 2006 and India two years later.

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