Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and his Guatemalan counterpart Alvaro Colom exchanged notes in Guatemala City Tuesday regarding a free trade agreement between the two countries, which will come into force in a month.
In mid-November, 55 per cent of Colombian products exported to Guatemala will be the first not to pay tariffs, reports newspaper El Tiempo.
In 2008, exports from Colombia to Guatemala valued US$185 million, according to Proexport figures. Imports were worth around US$37 million.
During the meeting, President Colom asked Uribe to support UIAF’s decisions regarding financial controls.
Uribe used his speech to emphasize international cooperation to recapture the fugitive ELN leader ‘Pablito’, who escaped from an Arauca prison last week.
“We hope that all countries will help us in catching these terrorists,” he said from Guatemala City, when questioned regarding Venezuela’s help in hunting down the guerrilla.
Uribe also made reference to the devaluation of the peso. “It’s unfair that the [fluctuations of the dollar] on the market are causing us these problems… it is starting to cause many problems in Colombia. Companies are making enormous competitive and productive efforts … and then come the vagaries of the market, imposing themselves on the will of men. I reiterate our preoccupation with the revaluation of the peso.”