TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 15, 2012) - Today marks the one-year anniversary of the ratification of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The signing of the FTA has eliminated barriers between the two countries allowing Canadians to openly experience Colombia's investment, trade and travel opportunities. Colombia and Canada each possess valuable and unique resources that can greatly support the development of both countries.
"The first year of the Free Trade Agreement has been very positive for both Colombia and Canada," said Alvaro Concha, Trade Commissioner for the Canadian headquarters of Proexport Colombia. "Over the past five years there has been a steady increase of trade and investment and the implementation of the FTA last August has opened the door to even greater opportunities for our two great nations."
There are several benefits of the FTA for both Colombia and Canadian businesses. The FTA has removed barriers that limit Canadian participation in Colombia's growing markets, created a level playing field for Canadian businesses operating in Colombia and eliminated tariffs on Colombian and Canadian exports, helping to make both nations more competitive across a range of sectors including: mining, agriculture and agri-food products.
Colombia is currently the fifth leading Latin American exporter to Canada, with over USD $800 million in exports in 2011, according to the Statistics Canada. Currently, Colombia's largest export to Canada is minerals and natural resources, which represented over 40 per cent of the total exports in 2011.
"Colombia is aware of the importance of the mining industry in Canada and the significant amount of business that this industry brings to Colombia," says Concha. "However, it is also important to know that Colombia has much more to offer Canadians than just minerals. The agri-business and manufacturing industries in Colombia both represent great opportunities for Canadians."
Products such as flowers, coffee, and sugar are some of the biggest exports to Canada outside of mining. In 2011, USD$ 69.2 million worth of flowers were exported to Canada. The FTA eliminated trade tariffs of six to 10 per cent, benefiting both Colombian exporters and Canadian businesses. Colombia has emerged as the largest supplier of fresh flowers for Canada, demonstrating the importance of free trade between the two countries.
With a growing economy, an attractive labour force and a strategic geographic location, Colombia has become a favoured destination for investors and businesses alike. Colombia's business policies provide a productive and flexible environment for future investment projects.
About Proexport Colombia
Proexport Colombia is Colombia's export, tourism and investment promotion agency. Colombia provides opportunities for Canadian investors thanks to its business-friendly policies and close geographic proximity to North America. If you would like to learn more about the opportunities available in Colombia for investment, expansion or relocation, please visit our web site www.proexport.com.co, or contact our representative in Canada.