President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday announced measures to increase trade with neighbouring Venezuela, in the midst of the latter’s product shortages.
The head of state was speaking at the end of the first meeting of the National Pact of Agriculture and Rural development, which seeks to solve numerous issues related to the recent nationwide anti government demonstrations.
“Today Venezuela needs our products and we need to sell,” said Santos. “I have talked to [Venezuelan President] Maduro and we have instructed our respective ministers to make this happen.”
Initially, Venezuela will purchase 40 tons of milk powder, 60,000 cattle, 42,000 tons of meat, 6,000 tons of butter and margarine, 20,000 tons of palm oil, 32,000 boxes of fertile eggs and 1,700,000 day old chicks.
“With this first order alone, we are talking about $600 million, an increase of 20% in exports to Venezuela,” explained Santos.
The head of state said that ProExport, potential suppliers of the goods, had convened a meeting at the Venezuelan embassy to discuss the logistics of such an arrangement.
Maduro expressed his delight at the agreement, calling on Colombia to “guarantee supply to Venezuela of all their products” especially for an initial three month period.
Maduro said that both countries had shown a good nature during the agreement, leaving to one side their “ideological differences of character.”