July 19, 2024

Advancing Business Journey

Empowering Business Excellence

Ties that bind: Colombia remains strong trade partner with Canada

2 min read

Colombia has a stable economy, business-friendly policies, and a free trade agreement with Canada—not surprising, it’s our nation’s fifth-largest bilateral trading partner in Latin America.

In 2022 alone, two-way merchandise trade between the two countries totalled $3.2 billion. Canada’s already a major investor and a recognized supplier of goods and services in sectors such as infrastructure, mining, financial and engineering services, oil and gas, energy, agri-food and education. It’s a trade and investment relationship that continues to strengthen, making Colombia a magnet for Canadian exporters.

Export Development Canada (EDC) is celebrating 10 years in Colombia, having opened our international office in Bogota, Colombia, in 2013.

“Since the beginning of our operations in Colombia, EDC has played an important role promoting commercial relations between our countries. We’ve been instrumental in driving economic growth and co-operation between our nations within a framework of environmental and social sustainability,” says Tamara Fathi, EDC’s chief representative, Andean Region, Central America and the Caribbean.

“EDC has been engaging with sponsors of large projects and key corporate accounts to better position Canadian companies and capabilities. We’ve also been developing relationships with key international and local companies operating in the region, as well as engaging with local and international banks and multilateral agencies to offer financing for projects with Canadian benefits,” Fathi says.

EDC senior economist Daniel Benatuil says despite concerns about possible regulatory risks arising from recent political shifts, Colombia’s robust political institutions are expected to support the continuation of its long-standing policy and business-friendly practices.

“This will remain a key factor in Colombia’s ability to continue attracting one of the region’s highest shares of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows relative to the size of the economy,” adds Benatuil.

Geographically, Colombia is enviably located with access to both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It’s a gateway to the Pacific Alliance—a trading bloc comprised of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru—with which Canada is an associated state. With a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.5 trillion and more than 230 million consumers, the Pacific Alliance constitutes a key market for Canada.

Colombia remains committed to attracting FDI in power, infrastructure, and energy sectors, where Canada’s already a major investor and a recognized supplier of goods and services.

“Renewable energy development—alongside the promotion of agriculture, food production for self-sufficiency, and tourism—is an important policy priority within the Colombia government’s ambitious plans to diversify the economy away from hydrocarbon exports,” says Benatuil.

“That said, there’s ongoing uncertainty about the government’s stance respecting future hydrocarbon exploration to raise long-term production capacity and financially support energy transition efforts,” he says.

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