Trade with Venezuela suffering from neighboring crises: Colombian Trade Official

Posted on Feb 19 2014 - 7:23pm by Rico

Colombia will take measures to ensure the flow of trade after Venezuelan protesters closed a border crossing with Colombia Wednesday in the latest of a series of crises that are negatively affecting Colombian exports to Venezuela says Colombian Commerce Minister.

Protesters in Venezuela closed a border crossing near Cucuta for an undisclosed amount of time calling on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to improve social conditions said a Venezuelan national media source Wednesday.

The Colombian Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Santiago Rojas said he was confident that “the flow of trade between Colombia and Venezuela can be maintained” reported the Venezuelan newspaper.

The closing of the border by Venezuelan protestors comes on the same day Rojas discussed the detrimental effects the continuous economic and social crises are having on Colombian exports.  During a conference for Proexport, an organization that promotes investment and trade in Colombia, he said that exports to Venezuela, “a natural market and very important” for Colombia currently hover around $2.5 billion while in years past exports had reached as high as $7 billion annually says El Espectador newspaper.

According to data from DANE (National Administration Department of Statistics) Colombian exports to Venezuela amounted to $2.1 billion between January 2013-November of 2013 which amounted to 4% of Colombia’s exports during that same period.  Total exports for Colombia during the period of January 2013-November 2013 was $53.5 billion.  The $4.5 billion drop in Colombian exports to Venezuela presented by the Rojas could translate to as much as an 8% loss in total annual exports for Colombia.

Javiar Diaz, the president of another Colombian Analdex, organization that promotes trade and investment, reportedly said that because of the great reduction in exports to Venezuela the government has had to open new windows of trade with other countries, particularly in the Middle East and Africa to make up the financial loss says El Espectador.

MORE: Ministers from Colombia and Venezuela meet to discuss bilateral trade

Colombia also reportedly owns a large amount of Venezuelan debt which has made trade between neighbors more difficult as Colombian exporters try to simultaneously extract debt payments and open new export channels in Venezuela.


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