Colombian agroindustry exports to Canada, including fruits other than bananas, fresh flowers and sugars, have experienced the greatest growth since the ratification of the Free Trade Agreement – a 31 percent increase between the periods of August 2011 and March 2013, when compared to August 2009 and March 2011. This increase resulted in US$27.7 million more exports than prior to when the agreement took effect. With a strategic geographic location and year round production capacity, Colombia is the 24th largest global supplier of fresh produce, supplying fresh fruit and vegetables worldwide year round.

The FTA between Canada and Colombia has brought many advantages, including reduction in tariffs up to 96.7 percent of actual and potential exports in the agribusiness sector. Colombia is amongst Canada’s largest supplier of sugars, oils and fats, coffee and coffee-based products. It is estimated that 40 percent of all exports to Canada from Colombia are sugars and coffee.

During the first quarter of the year, Proexport Colombia, the agency in charge of nontraditional exports, investment and tourism promotion, witnessed increases in overall exports from its main subsectors – agroindustry, manufacturing and textiles and apparel, with an increase of 14.7 percent compared to the same period in 2012. These figures, reported by Colombia’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, include the sectors of apparel and textiles, with an increase of 79.5 percent, as well as fruits other than bananas, with an increase of 30.2 percent.

“Colombia is very pleased with these developments, which reflect the success of the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Colombia,” stated Maria Claudia Lacouture, President of Proexport Colombia. “Canada is one of the most valuable trading partners for Colombia, as our exports complement the Canadian demand for innovation and added value.”

To take better advantage of these opportunities, Proexport’s headquarters in Canada continue to diligently promote Colombia’s offerings with trade missions that reflect these efforts. The most noticeable development includes a Business Matchmaking Forum which will bring together more than 200 exporters from Colombia to Canada in September 2013. This will showcase Colombia’s diverse offering of exports, including agroindustry, textiles and apparel, packaging and digital contents.