Spain and Colombia on Wednesday signed an agreement to strengthen their respective information technology sectors.
The agreement was signed in Bogota by Colombia’s Minister for Information Technology and Communication (ITC), Diego Molano, and Spain’s Minister for Telecommunications, Victor Calvo-Sotelo, on the first day of his 3-day visit to Colombia.
“We need talent to flow quickly,” said Molano in a press conference. “[This agreement] will facilitate that flow and also the visa situation so that we be successful.”
Calvo-Sotelo said that the ITC sector in Colombia was “sowing the seeds for new jobs and prosperity in the future.”
He added that the agreeement between the two countries would allow information and talent to “flow in both directions” and would try to fix the problem in both countries of an “educational deficit” when it comes to creating the skilled professionals that the ITC sector needs.
In Spain, the ITC industry is made up of around 30,000 companies and more than 400,000 professionals, generating around 100,000 million euros ($138,000 million) per year. More than 70% of the population over the age of 15 use the internet, according to official figures.
During his 3-day trip to Colombia, Calvo-Sotelo hopes to find areas in which bilateral agreements concerning trade, investment, and good business practices can be made.
On Thursday he will meet with the Defense Minister, Juan Carlos Pinzon, the Health Minister, Alejandro Gaviria, as well as Molano. On Friday he is scheduled to see technology projects setup by young entrepreneurs and talk about Colombian television.
Spain has strongly supported Colombia’s attempt to remove the short-term visa restriction for its citizens wanting to enter the European Union (EU). On Monday, a committee of the European Parliament voted to end the requirement. The only obstacle to the proposal’s becoming effective is a vote in the European Council, which is made up of the interior ministers from the EU’s member states.