Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the Prime Minister of New Zealand on Wednesday discussed a “strategic relationship” and possibly inched closer to signing a free trade agreement.
John Key’s visit to Colombia marked the first time that a New Zealand head of state has visited the Latin American country and Santos said the trip signified that New Zealand and Colombia were on the “path of cooperation and progress.”
“We’d love to have a trade agreement with New Zealand,” said the Colombian president, adding that the doors for such an agreement were now open.
“We welcome and appreciate the cooperation extended by your dairy industry…and the significant investment that the private sector in New Zealand is planning to invest in the dairy industry in our country,” said Santos, who was also impressed with the New Zealand delegation.
“Good Prime Minister, you’ve come to Colombia with a large delegation of businessmen,” said the Colombian president.
The New Zealand government has voiced its support for Colombia’s bid to become members of APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) and OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).
“We value and appreciate the support of New Zealand in these applications that have a single goal, to integrate more and better [with] global economies, with emphasis on the most dynamic region of the world, which is Asia and the Pacific,” said Santos.
The first Colombian consulate is set to open in New Zealand in April, which the Colombian head of state called “a magical land.”