Statistics collected by the Directorate of National Taxes and Customs (DIAN) show that Chile has replaced Venezuela as the second most important destination for Colombian exports, reported CMI on Thursday.
A free trade agreement (FTA) was signed by the two South American nations in May 2009, and a DIAN study shows that in January 2010 the U.S., the Netherlands and Chile received 54% of Colombia’s total exports.
Colombia’s main exports to Chile are coal, petrol, sugar and chemical products, and the FTA between the countries dictates that 99% of Colombia’s exports are tax exempt.
DIAN also recorded an increase in the presence of Chilean companies in Colombia and vice versa.
In the meantime exports to Venezuela in the same one-month period were down 76% year-on-year. Chile’s replacement of Venezuela as one of Colombia’s main trade partners is due to turbulent political relations between the neighboring countries.
Colombia has shown an overall increase in trade activity, with a 23.7% rise in exports in January 2010 compared to the same period last year. This is despite President Hugo Chavez’s ban on trade with Colombia, in protest over a military agreement signed between Washington and Bogota.