Canada’s Trade Agreement with Colombia Comes into Force
Ottawa Journal (August 15 – August 19, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P.
On May 2nd, our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to continue its work in securing Canada’s economic recovery. Part of that work has been to expand trade opportunities around the world, including the Americas, which creates new opportunities for Canadian business and jobs for Canadians. On August 10, 2011, during his visit to Colombia, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will come into force on August 15, 2011. This agreement marks yet another new market now open to Canadian business creating growth for our economy.
Canada and Colombia have continued to mutually benefit from a strong trading relationship. In 2010, two-way merchandise reached $1.4 billion, which was an increase of 32 per cent from 2005. In the Caribbean and Latin America region (excluding Mexico), Colombia is Canada’s fifth largest merchandise trading partner and our second largest merchandise export destination. There has been increasing number of Canadian investors and exporters entering the Colombian market, as a result of this growth. Colombia is also a key destination for Canadian direct investment with more than 70 Canadian companies making direct investments in the areas of: oil and gas, mining, banking, wholesale distribution, education, footwear, paper, and food processing. The total stock of Canadian direct investment in Colombia reached $824 million in 2010.
Canadian businesses will benefit from the Canada-Columbia FTA by gaining increased access to an emerging market of approximately 45.5 million people. Furthermore, Colombia is an economy with immense growth potential. The agreement is advantageous for exporters and producers, as it will reduce or eliminate tariffs on nearly all Canadian exports, while providing a more predictable, transparent, and rules-based trading environment for Canadian investors.
The Canada-Colombia FTA builds on our Government’s continued success in its Engagement in the Americas strategy, which focuses on three key areas: prosperity, democratic governance, and security. During his visit to Colombia, Prime Minister Harper announced increased Canadian assistance to strengthen human rights in the country. Through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Canada is working with UNICEF Canada to increase access to education and to strengthen protections for children from sexual exploitation and abuse. In addition, Canada also supports the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to monitor, advocate, and report on human rights, enhancing the capacity of the Colombian government to protect citizens’ rights, prevent abuse, and investigate violations.
Prime Minister Harper also announced Canadian support for new and ongoing projects which aim to enhance peace, security, and justice, in Colombia, and the region. The projects focus on the areas of: preventing conflict, combating transnational criminal activity, facilitating access to justice, responding to the global threat of terrorism, ensuring security at major events, and land restitution.
Our Government remains committed to providing a better future for the most vulnerable populations in Colombia. By supporting efforts to safeguard and promote their rights, Canada is making a difference for children, youth, families, and communities. We are also building our relationship with an important trading partner that will ensure both the Colombian and Canadian economies and their populations will continue to grow and prosper, now and into the future.