Colombia’s export sales to the United States grew by 10.4% in the first three months of the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), said the Director of the Office of Development Friday.

The figures, which exclude petroleum, coal and gold exports, came from Director Jose Gomez during an economics forum in the country’s third largest city Cali. Gomez has long been an advocate of the free trade deal with the U.S. and regularly provides updates on its positive aspects.

According to him, the sectors that recorded the most growth since the deal was signed were: aluminium doors and windows (110%), confectionery (47%), leather handbags (38%) and women’s pants (35%). Contrarily, Colombian imports from the U.S. fell by 3.2%.

Colombian officials and business leaders celebrated the commencement of the US-Colombia FTA on May 15 earlier this year. The accord between the two countries was signed by the two governments in 2006, yet was not ratified by the U.S. Congress until last year.

Despite the continuous boasting by U.S. and Colombian trade officials such as Gomez about the benefits of the FTA, it is worth pointing out that 90% of U.S. imports from Colombia already entered duty free prior to the FTA, under various special arrangements.

From Colombia Reports