A delegation of politicians and businessmen from U.S. state Florida will arrive Thursday in the Colombian city of Cartagena for talks on boosting trade between the “Sunshine State” and the Andean nation.
The meetings, which will take place in Cartagena’s Hilton Hotel on Thursday and Friday this week, were organized by the U.S. Embassy, the Colombian-American Chamber of Commerce, and Enterprise Florida.
Prestigious guests such as the mayor of Orlando, FL, the director of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Florida, and the president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce will be part of the delegation to the Caribbean coast.
Trade between Colombia and the U.S. state is important to both parties. In the first three months of 2010, Florida made up $574 million of the total $3 billion exports from the U.S. to Colombia. The main sectors for trade between the two countries are computer systems, machinery, automobiles, chemical products, and white goods.
These figures put the state second only to Texas, which sold $1.2 billion worth of goods, consisting mainly of petroleum products, to Colombia.
Florida’s mission to Cartagena comes as 104 U.S. industrialists tour Colombia from July 9 to 14 with the objective of promoting trade.
The delegation arrives in Cartagena five days after the new Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos took power. One of his priorities is to improve trade ties with the U.S. and to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with the northern superpower.