Colombia seeks to reach a free trade agreement with Australia said the Colombian Vice Minister of Foreign Trade in Sydney, local media reported Monday.
Gabriel Duque Vice Minister of Foreign Trade said the Colombian government is seeking the bilateral trade agreement with the Antipodean nation in order to strengthen links with the Asia Pacific region. He added that Australia and Colombia currently have “very little” bilateral exchange which does not exceed $70 million.
The Colombian Vice Minister of Multilateral Affairs Patti Londoño said that Australia the “number one country” on the negotiations agenda for the government.
The official Colombian delegation will meet Tuesday with the Australian foreign minister and former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to put forward the possible negotiating an fta and encouraging activity in he sectors of mining, agriculture and infrastructure.
Colombia also wants more cooperation from Australia with the management of environmental techniques “above all in small-scale mining” and fresh water.
Duque also said that as part of the strategy to get closer to countries on the Pacific rim, is also seeking accords with South Korea and in the future Japan.
This strengthening of links is in line with efforts made by Colombia since 1995 to be part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. APEC is formed of 21 countries including the U.S., China, Japan, Chile, Mexico and Peru with the aim of promoting free trade and investment among Asia-Pacific countries.