Colombia Hosts Pacific Alliance Summit
The presidents of Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia met in Cali May 23 for the seventh summit of the Pacific Alliance (PA). In addition to moving ahead on commercial integration, the presidents agreed to: 1) create a common visa across PA member countries for third country visitors; 2) move forward on Costa Rica’s membership bid; 3) create a cooperation fund to support integration and to promote tourism to the member countries; 4) accept observation status for: Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Honduras, Paraguay, Portugal, Dominican Republic; 5) create joint diplomatic missions in selected countries.
Colombia and Costa Rica Sign Free Trade Agreement
Prior to the Pacific Alliance summit the presidents of Costa Rica and Colombia signed an FTA. Pacific Alliance membership requires Costa Rica to have bilateral free trade agreements with each alliance member country, and Colombia is the only remaining outstanding agreement.
Labor Dept Provides $9 Million in Funding to Reduce Child Labor in Colombia
U.S. Department of Labor released a $9 million competitive solicitation for cooperative agreements(s) to support the Government of Colombia’s (GOC) efforts to combat child labor in artisanal, non-formal mining. The DOL noted that thousands of children work in Colombia’s mining sector, where they labor alongside adults and are exposed to physical injuries, dangerous tools, hazardous substances, toxic gases and explosions. Non-government organizations and child advocacy organizations are invited to apply to receive grant support. For more information please visit - http://www.dol.gov/ILAB/grants/main.htm
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/10YvF2K
Colombia – United States FTA Turns 1 Year Old
The U.S. – Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) turned 1 year old on May 15. There were numerous events to commemorate the date including the visit by the Acting Secretary of Commerce, Dr. Rebecca Blank, leading an infrastructure mission of 20 U.S. companies. President Santos celebrated the FTA’s first birthday in Cartagena, where he had welcomed the FTA’s entry into force with the first shipment of Colombian products the year before. Over 114,000 containers passed through the Cartagena Port since the FTA entered into force – over 5,000 containers more than the previous year. U.S. exports to Colombia have increased 20% from May 15, 2012 through February 2013 relative to 2011.
Colombia Third Destination of FDI in Latin America
According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, ECLAC, Colombia ranked third in the region last year as an FDI destination, attracting US$15.8 billion. Brazil was the principal destination with US$ 65.2 billion and Chile ranked second with US$ 30.2 billion.
Coal Production Declined
During the 1Q of the year, coal production in Colombia declined to 18.4 million tons, or 21.4% less than during the same period of the previous year.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/107EIOS
Colombian Economy Grew 4% in 2012
The Colombian National Statistics Department (DANE) announced that the country’s GDP growth rate for 2012 was 4%. This result surprised many, as the Ministry of Finance had projected a growth of 3.8%. The sectors that led the growth were mining (5.9%), financial services (5.5%), commerce (4.1%), and transportation (4%). Meanwhile, industry (-0.7%) and agriculture (2.6%) had the poorest performances.
Post-FTA Trade Missions Indicate Increased Interest
Since the FTA between Colombia and the U.S. entered into force on May 15, 2012, 13 trade missions from the U.S. have visited Colombia, highlighting an increased interest among U.S. companies in the Colombian market . The trade missions have focused on a range of issues such as private equity and franchises and have represented states such as Florida, Massachusetts, and North Dakota.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/165RFwN
Colombia Opens Bid Process on 4G Communication Services
The Government of Colombia announced April 16 as the deadline for compa-nies to submit applications to participate in the bid process on licenses to pro-vide 4G (seven licenses) and 3G (one license) services in the country. Bidding rules and technical specifications were published on March 11. Additional information is available at the following web site: http://bit.ly/SA0SJ9.
Colombia’s Trade Agenda with the Pacific Alliance
Colombia will assume the Pro Tempore Presidency of the Pacific Alliance dur-ing the Alliance’s presidential summit on May 23 in Cali. Colombia has been courting possible future member countries Costa Rica and Panama. Colom-bia and Panama resumed bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations this week and Colombia concluded FTA negotiations with Costa Rica on March 8.
Cites: USA and Colombia Back Protecting Sharks
In support of a proposal co-sponsored by the United States and Colombia, CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) parties voted to include the oceanic whitetip shark on a protected list (Appendix II). The CITES Appendix II list requires permits to ensure exports are sustainable and legal.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/ZbKFID
Win-Win Trade from June through December of 2012:
- U.S. exports to Colombia totaled $10 billion, a 17.6% increase over the same period in 2011.
- U.S. imports from Colombia totaled $13.7 billion, a 1.3 % decrease compared to 2011 (Many Colombian exports already benefited from ATPDEA preferences prior to the FTA and the U.S. economy contracted the last three months of 2012).
- Colombia was the fourth most significant destination of U.S. exports in Latin America.
- The U.S. remained the primary destination of Colombian exports.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/WE6nur
Fitch Revises Colombia’s Outlook to Positive
The international ratings company upgraded its outlook for the Colombian economy from stable to positive. The country’s current BBB- rating is the lowest level for an investment grade status, but the improved outlook opens the door for a future rating upgrade.
Cerrejon Labor Strike Ends
Cerrejon, Colombia’s largest coal producer, reached an agreement with workers ending a 29-day labor strike that resulted in company losses of approximately 60 million dollars.
Inflation for February 0.44
According to Colombia’s National Statistics Department, the monthly inflation rate for February was 0.44%, which is the lowest rate for the last five years. The Colombian government inflation goal for 2013 is 3%.
Five Colombian Billionaires on Forbes Most Wealthy List
Colombia has five billionaires in Forbes’ recently released 2013 ranking of the world’s richest people. In order: Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo (64th – Banking), Alejandro Santo Domingo (82nd – Diversified Investments), Carlos Ardila Lulle (225th – Beverages), Jaime Gilinski (613th – Banking), and Woods Staton (1,268th – Restaurants).
Colombia and Costa Rica Conclude FTA Negotiations
The two countries successfully concluded negotiations for an FTA and plan to sign the official document May 23 during the next Pacific Alliance meeting in Cali. The agreement is expected to enter into force in 2014 or 2015 and will immediately eliminate duties on 75 percent of industrial products and 60 percent of agricultural products.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/Y4EtFT
2012 a Record Year for Foreign Trade
Colombia had a record year for foreign trade in 2012. According to the National Statistics Department (DANE), from January-December 2012, the country exported US$ 60.6 billion FOB and imported US$ 58.6 billion CIF for a trade balance of US$ 4.9 billion FOB. Imports showed a 7.2% growth over 2011. Exports showed 5.7% growth over 2011.
Biggest Colombian Financial Acquisition Abroad
Bancolombia S.A., Colombia’s biggest private bank, acquired the operations of HSBC Panama for US$ 2.1 billion. This transaction is the largest of any Colombian financial institution, surpassing the acquisition of BAC Credomatic in Central America by Colombia’s Grupo Aval for US$ 1.9 billion in 2010.
Colombia Signs Free Trade Agreement with South Korea
Minister of Trade Sergio Diaz-Granados and his South Korean counterpart signed the agreement on February 21 in Seoul. Congresses from both countries must now ratify the FTA before it enters into force.
Two New Board Members for the Central Bank
President Santos announced his new appointees for the Central Bank (Banco de la Republica) board of directors on February 21. Deputy Finance Minister Ana Fernanda Maiguashca and economist Adolfo Meisel, who heads the Central Bank’s branch in Cartagena, were chosen by the President to be the board’s co-directors.
For complete information please visit – http://bit.ly/ZxPe6r
Colombia Produces More Than 1 Million Barrels of Oil per Day
The Colombian government announced that during January 2013, the country reached an average daily oil production of 1,011,992 barrels.
Inflation Rate for January 0.30 %
This rate is 0.43 points less than the January 2012 inflation rate of 0.73%.
Record Trade Results between the U.S. and Colombia
Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs of the Department of State, José Fernandez, declared that according to preliminary data, bilateral trade between the U.S. and Colombia registered a historic record during 2012 upon the implementation of the Free Trade agreement in May. In comparison to 2011, U.S. experts assert that U.S. exports to Colombia rose more than US $1 billion.
South Korea – Colombia Free Trade Agreement
South Korea’s government approved the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia negotiated since 2009. The governments will sign the agreement on February 21, 2013, and then submit it to their respective legislatures for approval.
For complete information please visit -http://bit.ly/VPzxkv
From June through November 2012:
- U.S. exports to Colombia totaled $8 billion, a 16% increase over the same period in 2011
- U.S. imports from Colombia totaled $11 billion, a modest 1.2% increase over the same period in 2011 (The majority of Colombian exports already benefited from ATPDEA preferences prior to the FTA)
For complete information please visit - http://bit.ly/VFjyL7
U.S. Commercial Service—Connecting you to global markets.
U.S. trade with Panama and Colombia is rapidly expanding. Each country is making significant investments in roads, ports and other infrastructure. The U.S. Commercial Service is hosting a trade mission to these markets in May, 2013. This webinar will provide details on the areas of growth that this mission targets.
Why Panama and Colombia?
In both Colombia and Panama the governments and private sector are investing more than $30 billion in infrastructure projects. Key sectors and/or products include:
• Building products and construction equipment
• Electrical power systems;
• Safety and security equipment and Airport supplies;
• Port equipment;
• Logistics and distribution solutions providers;
• Intelligent transportation systems (ITS),
• Airport and port design and construction.
Learn the benefits of Trade Agreements for Your Firm
U.S. Commercial Service staff will describe the advantages that the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement and the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement offer American firms.
• U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement eliminates some 90% of tariffs and duties on U.S. exports to Panama.
• U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement on May 15, 2012 provides immediate duty-free entry for 80% of U.S. consumer and industrial exports to Colombia, with remaining tariffs phased out over the next 10 years.
To find out more and Register for the Webinar:
Date: January 30, 2013
Time: 2:00 pm EDT, 1:00pm CDT, noon MDT,11:00 am PDT
Cost: Free of Charge
For more information:
Arica N Young