A recent study found that Colombia’s exports have suffered from Venezuela’s trade embargo, despite the country’s efforts to find new trading partners.
According to the Universidad del Rosario in Bogota, in 2009 Colombian exports dropped for the first time after a sustained seven-year period of growth. Colombian trade with Venezuela dropped from $6 billion to $4 billion, with a 35% drop in exports. Trade with the U.S. and Ecuador also dropped by 8% and 16% respectively.
Altogether, Colombia’s export sector experienced negative growth of 12.7% last year, the study found.
“In a year characterized by a strong drop in global imports, as a result of the global financial crisis, we couldn’t really expect much in terms of diversification of markets,” said director of the study Saul Pineda.
Colombia has substituted other trading partners for Venezuela following President Hugo Chavez’s trade ban. Exports to China have risen by 114%, while exports to Holland saw a 79% rise, and the United Kingdom and Switzerland both saw an increase of approximately 10%. Chile has also emerged as a major trading partner.
The Colombian-Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce said that Venezuela has replaced its imports from Colombia with products from U.S.