Colombia hopes to join the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in 2010 and already has the support of China, South Korea, and the U.S, claimed the Foreign Minister Thursday.
The APEC comprises of 21 countries and is seen as a platform from which to strengthen ties with one of the most dynamic regions in the world. Asia currently represents 40% of the worl’d population, over half the world’s GDP and almost 50% of global trade.
However, for the last few years the APEC fixed a moratorium to prevent the entry of new countries until 2010, reported newspaper EL Espectador on Thursday.
“We all have the determination to get closer and closer to Asia in order that the day the moratorium is lifted, we will be allowed in,” claimed Colombia’s Forgein Minister Jaime Bermudez.
“We have explicit support from South Korea, Latin American partners, China and the U.S. so that we may eventually get in … It depends on whether the moratorium is lifted in 2010, but regardless of that, Colombia will have forged close links with Asia,” confirmed Bermudez.
Chile, Mexico and Peru are the only Latin American countries in the APEC but Colombia is the world’s third largest coffee producer and in recent years has made progress in oil and coal production.
Five Colombian government officials, including Bermudez, have travelled to Asia in the last few days to consolidate relations. There Bermudez agreed to launch negotiations for an FTA with South Korea and hopes to promote investment between Colombia and Japan.