News and insight for North America's fresh produce buyers
Gill McShane


Tuesday 23rd December 2008, 06:52 Central Time

Canada signs Colombia trade deal

Canada and Colombia have inked a new free trade deal for a variety of products, including fresh produce

Canada signs Colombia trade deal
Prime Minister Stephen Harper (left) with President Alvaro Uribe

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The leaders of Canada and Colombia have reportedly signed a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to open up the Colombian market for Canadian potatoes, beef, pork and other products in a deal which could take at least a year or more to be ratified and finally implemented.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Alvaro Uribe signed the pact just ahead of the annual leaders summit for the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation forum, which began on Saturday 20 December, according to Colombia Reports.

The two leaders also signed side deals that will hold companies operating in either country to international labor standards and encourage the use of voluntary codes to protect the environment.

The FTA has been welcomed by Canadian officials as exporters struggle through the economic downturn.

Last year, Canadian companies sold approximately US$600m worth of goods and services to Colombia while importing around US$400m worth of goods, primarily coffee, bananas, fuel and coal from the South American nation.

Colombia’s tariffs on about 98 per cent of all Canadian imports by value will be phased out over a five-to-10-year period after implementation.

Canadian trade officials say their goal is to have implementing legislation approved by Parliament by January 2010.

The Canadian government also has a free trade deal with Peru waiting for ratification by Parliament.


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