Colombia is working to build a better economic and political presence in Southeast Asia, the country’s foreign minister said Wednesday.
“We have little presence in Southeast Asia and we want to improve it and have an exchange that is not only economic, but also political,” Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin told EFE during a visit with the Thai ambassador in Bangkok. “Also to identify the sectors that we see that can become of some potential.”
Colombia’s pivot toward Southeast Asia’s trade organization ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) falls in step with the goals of the Pacific Alliance, a strategic organization of Latin American states that want to free up trade barriers, integrate capital markets, and turn the focus of their economies toward Asia.
In May of this year, Juan Manuel Santos called the formation of the Pacific Alliance trade pact between Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Chile an “historic” step.
Colombia, so far, has been putting action to its words. Minister Holguin said her country plans to send a mission of private sector representatives and officials from the government’s export and trade agency Proexport to Thailand and the ASEAN block. The goal for the mission is to find ways for the two entities to cooperate.
Trade between Colombia and Thailand, one member of the ASEAN block, alone has increased by six-fold over the past decade.
- Colombia busca mayor presencia económica en el Sudeste Asiático (EFE)
- A continental divide (The Economist)