International Economic Issues
Colombian foreign policy is essential for the economic development of the country since it contributes to the detection and use of commercial and business opportunities around the world. Therefore, integrated diplomatic action applied to business is defined in conjunction with the authorities, principally the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Proexport, and is implemented through the Colombian Foreign Service.
Colombia has designed a strategy with emphasis on the consolidation of the economic relations with the Andean Community. In particular, the strengthening of the integration with Venezuela, in which case the understanding in all areas is vital including the geographical borders issues. On the other hand, the strategy also impulses the coordination of the initiatives and actions in order to reach a free trade agreement with Mercosur towards the construction of the FTAA, Free Trade Area of the Americas.
As part of this integration strategy, Central America and the Caribbean constitute a very important region in order to reach a stronger position in the context of the continent negotiations. Colombia promotes the active presence in these regions and considers essential to recover the characteristic philosophy and dynamism of the G-3.
Within the Rio Group, Colombia promotes a collective action to begin agreements about the international agenda of the eventual Latin American Community, which will improve competitiveness and dynamism in the economic development and allow the region to become a key player in the international arena.
On the other side, the United States is the most important country in the Colombian foreign policy because of its economic power and relevance in the continent and the world. However, US foreign direct investment in Colombia is lower than expected. Colombia has the 8% of the Latin American population but it only counts with 3% of the total US investment in the region, which is also concentrated in few industries such oil and manufacturing. Therefore, Colombia continues to promote the diversification of US investment in the national economy, as well as the strengthening of commercial ties such as the extension of the benefits of the ATPA - Andean Trade Preference Act.
With respect to the European Union, the Andean Community continues advancing on the economic strengthening through trade preferences given since 1990 - Andean Preferences System, SGP.
Finally, based on the importance of Asian countries in the international economic arena, there have been important changes in the structure and composition of the main commercial blocks and in the competitive conditions of the world market. Colombia considers important to reinforce commercial, financial, technological and diplomatic ties with these nations including the private sector involvement to take advantage of the opportunities offered to Colombia being part of the Pacific Basin Economic Council - PBEC.