Colombia reported a 19.4% increase in exports in March compared to the same period in 2009, despite the huge reduction in exports to Venezuela due to trade restrictions imposed by the socialist nation, reports El Universal.
Exports to Venezuela fell 68.9% from $492.4 million in March 2009 to $153.3 million a year later.
Colombian businesses have looked to other regions to replace the goods previously bought by Venezuela, and last month Luis Carlos Villegas, of Colombia’s National Business Association, announced that new markets worth $2 billion have been found.
Villegas said that foreign markets for Colombia’s mining materials and fossil fuels had grown significantly in early 2010, and that the sale of “non-traditional” exports to China, which he described as “very important,” had 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.