Colombian exports to Venezuela increased by 19% in the first three weeks of April, after a two-year decline according to the National Tax Office, DIAN, as reported by Portafolio Tuesday.
Between April 1 and 23, sales of Colombian goods to its eastern neighbor reached $116 million, a 19% increase compared to the same period in 2010.
Exports to Venezuela have been decreasing since 2009. In the years up to January 2011, exports fell by almost 65% to $1.4 billion.
External sales to Venezuela started to drop off in the middle of 2009 after historically high numbers in 2008 when exports were above $6 billion. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez imposed an embargo on Colombian goods in August 2009 after a stand-off between himself and former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
Relations between Bogota and Caracas have improved considerably since Juan Manuel Santos took office in August 2010. However, Venezuelan importers still owe a debt to Colombian businessmen with estimates of the debt varying between $1.19 billion and $800 million. The amount said to have been repaid varies between $500 million and $230 million.
Current exports to Venezuela are made up primarily of natural gas as there is a long-standing commitment to supply the fuel. Other goods exported are diapers, as well as chocolates and candy.