Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos on Tuesday called on French companies and opinion leaders to help promote his country’s trade agreement with the European Union, according to a press release from the presidential website.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting with business, political and opinion leaders in Paris, the president said “For us Europe is still fundamental. We have negotiated a free trade agreement with Europe, and I take this opportunity to ask everyone to help us so that this treaty will get adopted as soon as possible by the European Parliament and the parliaments of each country.”
The meeting was organized by Proexport, a government-aligned agency that promotes Colombian exports and tourism abroad, and by Patrick Wajsman, director of Politique Internationale, a French journal dedicated to international affairs.
Santos then ate lunch with French Senate President Gerarch Larcher, and spoke about plans to “further expand [bilateral] cooperation,” a spokesperson for Santos told the Spanish news agency EFE.
Bilateral cooperation will be the focus of the Colombian president’s working lunch with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace Wednesday.
Santos’ official visit to France began Monday, with a public appeal to the G-20 to help to deal with the devastating effects of Colombia’s rainy season, and with a formal application to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The president will remain in France until Wednesday before attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.