Colombia’s Minister for Trade, Industry and Tourism Sergio Diaz-Granados said that as a result of Friday’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, trade talks between the countries will have to remain on hold, Caracol Radio reports.
Speaking in Cartagena over the weekend, Diaz-Granados said that business relations will remain but the pace will have to slow as Colombia assesses the full effects of the natural disaster.
“Coincidentally, last week Japan’s Minister for Trade and Economy sent a letter for starting the foundation of a treaty. I understand the situation that is affecting that country, we express our solidarity and we are looking for the moment to get things back on their normal course,” Diaz-Granados said.
“Japan was correct, properly prepared and able to face this disaster with less damage than was the case in other circumstances. I think that is the big lesson this teaches us, this earthquake, the tragedy, the tsunami, that when one prepares, you prevent and reduce the risks,” he said.
Santos also praised Colombia’s quick issuance of a tsunami warning on the Pacific coast in the immediate aftermath of the disaster and asked that this type of reaction be seen in future events that may afflict the country, especially any future floods like the ones experienced last year.
“You can reduce the risks if there is collaboration, if there is discipline and if we can anticipate difficult circumstances,” the head of state affirmed.
Police have officially confirmed the deaths of 1,597 people in Japan though the final toll is expected to be far higher.