Britain’s trade ambassador pledged $62 million to improve Colombia’s transport infrastructure following his first visit to the Andean nation.
In an interview with El Espectador, Nick Baird said “[With] infrastructure, we have a big program of $62.3 million which involves roads, ports and airports. On this matter in particular we can contribute with other areas of expertise such as industrial design, architecture, project management and private sector financing of big projects.”
The cheif executive of UK Trade and Investment, the body that promotes British companies globally, also said that Britain would contribute expertise to Colombia in terms of oil exploration at sea.
He said “We defined the most attractive sectors for British companies to invest in Colombia and provide extra benefits. For example, with petroleum, where we have looked the opportunity of turning over all the experience accumulated in marine exploitation; but also with mining, where we already have a presence [Anglo Gold and BHP Billiton] and the number of mining projects could be expanded.”
Baird said in November 2011 a memorandum of understanding was signed by UKTI and its Colombian counterpart, Proexpoert, and that there was interest in forming joint ventures such as trade visits and business forums.
When asked about British companies interested in Colombia, the trade ambassador said British Telecom had already set itself up in the country, while Mothercare, which produces baby clothes, was looking at the nation with interest.
Baird, the former British ambassador to Turkey, made his first visit to Colombia January 23 to 25.