Colombian exports grew by 29.8% globally between January 2010 and January 2011, according to a report published by DANE Thursday.
The report, which specifically details exports to China, South Korea and Japan, shows that these countries account for 8.1% of Colombian exports overall.
The biggest increase from the group was seen in exports to South Korea which increased to $61 million from $9.6 million the year before.
In the same time frame exports to China reached $187.1 million up from $175.5 million, an increase of 6.6%. China is currently Colombia’s biggest Asian importer, accounting for 4.9% of external sales globally.
Increased exports to these countries is due to greater export of fuel, iron and steel. Colombia is also in the process of finalizing a free trade agreement with South Korea and is tentatively pursuing closer economic ties with China.
An earlier report published by DANE in February 2011, focuses on exports to the US, Ecuador and Venezuela which accounted for 50.6% of all Colombian exports in 2010. Figures show growth in exports to the first two countries but a decrease in exports to its eastern neighbor.
During 2010 exports destined for the US grew by 31.4% to $16.9 billion. This is in spite of the fact that the free trade agreement between the US and Colombia is not ratified and is not due to be considered by the US congress until the end of the year.
Exports to Ecuador grew by 45.1% to $1.8 billion from $1.2 billion. Relations between the neighboring countries were fully restored in November 2010.
The increase in exports is attributed to the greater sales of fuel and mineral oils to the US and meats and meat derivatives to Ecuador.
However, external sales to Venezuela decreased by 64.9% from $4 billion to $1.4 billion. The cause of the overall decrease is due fewer sales of electrical items and materials and of vehicles and associated parts the reports say. However, a significant contributing factor is the fact that relations between the two countries have only recently normalised thanks to the departure of former President Alvaro Uribe.