Customs procedures, the facilitation of trade, and technical obstacles were discussed at the recently concluded round. The fourth round of talks are to be held in Ankara, Turkey from November 1 to 4.
Talks relating to a free trade agreement between Colombia and Turkey began in May 2011. The chief negotiator for Colombia in the talks, Javier Gamboa, said they concluded talks on institutional matters, competence policies, commercial defense, sustainable trade and development, among other issues.
According to the Minister of Commerce Sergio Diaz-Granados, the negotiations with Turkey are an important part of the Colombian government’s strategy to improve ties with Asian economies and to become part of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The minister also said an FTA with Turkey will help Colombia to strengthen links with other CIVETS countries: Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa. They all have fast-growing, diverse economies and young populations (average age of 27) which is expected to increase domestic consumption.
Between January and July 2011 Colombian exports to Turkey reached $289.3 million. The main exports are coal, polymers, as well as dry fruits, gelatin, vegetable materials and sugar. During the same period Turkish exports to Colombia registered at $63.2 million and were composed of steel wire, cotton textiles, and vehicles.