The agriculture ministers of Colombia and Japan met in Bogota on Wednesday to discuss technical cooperation between the countries, to work towards an Investment Protection Agreement,.
According to Colombia’s Agriculture Minister Andres Fernandez, the two countries discussed an agreement on technical cooperation in the area of sanitation. “Offering mechanisms of technical cooperation is a giant step,” Fernandez told Colombian press after a meeting with his counterpart, Japanese Minister of Agriculture, Forests, and Fishing Hirotaka Akamatsu.
According to Fernandez, Japan is “very interested” in importing Colombian chicken, eggs, milk and fish.
Fernandez added that the purpose of the meeting is to advance technical cooperation between the two countries, while Japan finishes its FTA negotiations with Peru.
This meeting comes a few months after the fifth round of formal trade negotiations between Colombia and Japan in February failed to yield an FTA.
While the Colombian Embassy in Tokyo said that “important advances” were made during the five rounds of negotiations, they failed to reach a deal because “important aspects of the agreement still remain unresolved.”
Colombia already has relatively strong economic ties to Japan, exporting $336 million to the Pacific island nation in 2009, of which 83% was flowers and coffee. Colombia is the main exporter of flowers to Japan, and the second largest exporter of coffee products.