Portugal’s foreign trade minister has said Colombia’s economy is the most impressive in Latin America during a business mission to encourage more investment between the two countries, Spanish agency EFE reported Thursday.
Paulo Portas, the Portuguese Minister of State and Foreign Trade, was in Colombia on a business mission with a 44-strong delegation and said the Latin American nation has “one of the the most impressive economies on this continent.”
Minister Portas met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin on Wednesday and announced that the two countries will create a mixed commission which will meet at least once a year to further business and economic relations.
“Latin America is a priority for Portugal, and Colombia is a country that Portuguese businesses and investors should discover,” Portas said, adding that Colombian investment and capital is welcome in Portugal.
He continued to praise the Andean nation saying “Colombia is impressive, Colombia offers judicial security, Colombia is competent and has carried out notable reforms for social inclusion, ” something which Portuguese companies “are discovering.”
Portas was accompanied by Portugal’s Vice Minister of Economic Affairs and Regional Development Antonio Almeida Henriques and 43 Portuguese businessmen.
On Wednesday Portuguese food retailer Jeronimo Martins announced it is to invest $552 million over three years in Colombia and open food retail stores by 2012.
According to data from Colombia’s central bank, Portugal invested $1.9 million in Colombia in 2010, while Colombian investment in Portugal has not got off the ground, a diplomatic way of saying there has been zero investment.