The Colombian government and national dairy industry reached an agreement regarding the sector’s concerns over the soon to be signed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU), reports Colombian economics publication Portofolio.com.co.
Colombian government representative Santiago Pardo said that following negotiations, the government had agreed to demands by the dairy sector that domestic mechanisms be developed, to ensure that Colombian dairy products meet EU quality control standards. The development of these mechanisms are required for Colombian dairy products to gain entry into European markets.
Following Colombia’s signing of the FTA with the the EU earlier this year, the industry complained that the agreement did not guarantee them with the ability to successfully export their products to the EU, nor did it protect their domestic industry from unfairly subsidized European competitors.
Pardo said that, in order to alleviate concerns over European dairy products coming to Colombia, the EU has agreed to eliminate their subsidies for dairy products that are destined for export to Colombia.
In addition, Pardo said that the EU and Spain have agreed to contribute to the development of Colombia’s dairy sector.
The Colombia-EU FTA is expected to be signed in Madrid on May 19 during the Sixth European-Latin American and the Caribbean Summit of Heads of State and Governments, which will be attended by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.