Colombian officials completed the first stage of a tour of the Asia-Pacific region in order to secure free trade agreements.
The Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs Maria Angela Holguin met Japanese officials in Tokyo to consider the possible negotiation of an Economic Partnership Agreement [EPA], Colombian diplomatic sources told the Spanish news agency EFE.
The meeting saw the completion of the first stage of Holguin’s tour which will last until 29 February and take her to China and Vietnam as well. Both parties agreed to maintain a “close relationship” and to organize a third session in Bogota with a view to completing an EPA.
The decision to begin talks over an EPA began with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ official visit to Tokyo in September 2011.
Between 2006 and 2010 Colombia saw a 7.5% increase in trade with Japan and this latest agreement is expected to pave the way for yet even more investment.
The most highly sought after Colombian exports on the Japanese market are coffee, coal, flowers, iron-nickel alloys, cocoa oil, magnesium dioxide, and emeralds.
The most popular Japanese imports were industrial machinery, particularly pistons, engine filters, trucks and bearings, car parts, tires, rubber gaskets, metallurgy, and chemicals, including antibiotics and other immunological products.