The president of Colombia’s National Business Association, Luis Carlos Villegas, announced Friday that the country has found new markets for almost $2 billion worth of products previously exported to Venezuela, El Espectador reported Friday.
A program was established by the association earlier this year to find alternative destinations for products previously exported to Venezuela, after the socialist nation cut trade agreements with Colombia due to escalating diplomatic tensions between the two countries.
Now, according to Villegas, the program is close to recovering the $2 billion-worth of lost sales by seeking new markets. The lost revenue should be recovered by June this year.
The director said that foreign markets for Colombia’s mining materials and fossil fuels have grown significantly in the recent months, and that the sale of “non-traditional” exports to China, which he described as “very important,” have also been successful.
Villegas pointed out that sales to the U.S. increased by $1 billion in the first two months of this year, while those to China increased by $330 million.
The director also highlighted the growth in Colombia’s trade with Brazil and the normalization of the country’s trade with Ecuador.
Colombia has been able to increase commerce with new markets recently, including Holland, Italy, Denmark, Canada and Puerto Rico
Venezuela has maintained an informal trade ban against its neighboring country, which Venezuelan officials insist will stand at least until the election of a new president of Colombia.
Bilateral trade between the two was down 73% in the first quarter of 2010, compared with the same period a year earlier.