Colombia’s pending free trade agreement (FTA) with Canada moved another step forward after the Canadian Parliament’s international trade committee voted 7 to 3 in favor of the deal, reports El Dinero.
Colombia’s Commerce Minister Luis Guillermo Plata called the vote a very important step in the ratification of the agreement, which was signed in 2008.
“This was the most important … and most difficult … step in the agreement’s approval process,” Plata noted.
The Colombian minister went on to express his optimism about the continued progress of the FTA, which will now go back to the Canadian Parliament, and if passed, will go to the Senate.
“With these results, the parliamentary process … moves forward, because of which we are optimistic that [the FTA] can move forward within the coming days,” Plata explained.
In late April, Plata announced that the FTA would be passed in about six weeks, after concluding an official visit to Canada.
Canadian investment into Colombia between 2002 and 2009 surpassed $1 billion, which accounts for only 3.6% of the total foreign investment Colombia received during this period.
Trade between the two countries has risen dramatically in recent years, from $490 million in 2003 to $1.08 billion in 2009.