Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that he expected a Venezuelan-Colombian trade agreement to be finalized by April 2011, and expressed his hope for “better border integration” between the two counties, in an interview with La Republica newspaper.
The negotiations for a Colombian-Venezuelan free trade agreement will take place in mid-November, with initial planning meetings in late October.
In addition to Venezuela, Santos explained that Colombia is working on trade agreements with South Korea and Panama, and hopes to expand trade with Asian and Caribbean countries.
Santos and Chavez met in Santa Marta on August 10 to begin to normalize relations after former President Uribe accused Venezuela of tolerating Colombian guerrillas within its borders.
The diplomatic crisis negatively impacted bilateral trade, and after Santos was sworn in, the two heads of state quickly moved to create five committees tasked with improving trade, security, and social development in the two neighboring countries.