Colombia and Canada’s trade ministers speak out in favor of the bilateral free trade agreement.
Canadian Trade Minister Peter van Loan, who is currently visiting Colombia to promote business ties, told W Radio that the deal will increase Colombia’s exports, creating more jobs.
The minister said he has observed that when his country signs a trade deal the partner country’s exports to Canada often increase more than their imports from Canada.
Van Loan explained that human rights were included in the deal because of the demands of a “small group” in the Canadian Parliament.
The agreement includes a provision specifying that both countries must produce annual reports on how the deal is impacting on human rights.
Colombian Trade Minister Sergio Diaz Granados said he hopes the human rights part of the agreement will be accepted by Colombia’s Congress and declared enforceable by the Constitutional Court, so that the treaty can be implemented in 2011.
Colombia began trade talks with Canada on an FTA in 2007, and signed the deal in 2008. Following speedy approval by the Colombian Congress, the FTA was stalled in the Canadian parliament due to opposition from critics in Canada over Colombia’s human rights record, before being approved in June.