Colombia Celebrates Two-Year Anniversary of U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Colombia Celebrates Two-Year Anniversary of U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

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SOURCE Proexport Colombia

Number of companies exporting to the U.S. for the first time has doubled during the second year of the agreement, with nearly the same amount of growth in the types of new Colombian products entering the market

MIAMI, May 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- (Proexport Colombia) – As of the two-year mark of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, 1,689 Colombian companies have exported to the United States for the first time during the period of May 2012 and February 2014, helping to bring 362 new non-mining and non-coffee products to the market, Proexport Colombia announced today. The industries that have seen the most new exports include manufacturing, agribusiness and textiles and apparel, with products purchased by companies located as far away as Hawaii and Utah – states that were not reached before the agreement.

"The implementation of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States was a major accomplishment for Colombia in 2012," said Maria Claudia Lacouture, President of Proexport, the Colombian agency charged with promoting trade, tourism and investment.

"Today, we have more than 1,600 companies taking advantage of the tools offered by the Colombian Government through Proexport to increase business and trade with the United States. In particular, small and medium-sized companies are exporting and seeing massive value in the treaty. These statistics prove the success of the agreement," says Mrs. Lacouture.

The U.S.-Colombia FTA took effect on May 15, 2012, eliminating trade barriers and allowing billions of dollars of U.S. exports to flow into Colombia. Colombian exports have experienced a positive compounded growth of 3.3 percent between 2010 and 2013, showing the country's strong economic momentum.

Since January 2014, the overall monetary value of exports from Colombia to the U.S. has decreased mainly as a result of mining and coffee products, which are not affected by the FTA. Non-mining products have increased in multiple ways, including the number of companies exporting, the types of products and the number of destination markets. Colombian products are bought currently by more than 109 cities in the USA versus 61 cities that were purchasing prior to May 2012.

Within the agribusiness industry, a total of 46 new foods have reached the U.S. market for the first time since the FTA's implementation, including maple syrup, oils and mineral water. The overall sector has seen a 6.9 percent growth resulting US$35.9 million more in sales. In addition, the Colombian government is also investing in training and support of phytosanitation to increase product access, resulting in better access for items like the gooseberry and Hass avocado.

Certain sectors within the manufacturing industry have seen marked growth, including the instruments and apparatus sector, which includes items such as telecommunication devices, voice transmission machines and magnetic stripe cards. Since the FTA the sector's exports have increased by 51.6 percent, resulting in more than US$117 million in sales comparatively. Likewise, the construction materials sector saw a 23.2 percent increase with 16 new companies exporting for the first time, reaching a total of US$110.1 million in sales with the help of new Colombian exports such as doors, windows, racks and tiles.

The pharmaceutical sector also saw marked increases, experiencing a 55 percent growth in exports and generating more than US$12.4 million more in sales than prior to the FTA.

Colombian products reach more than 15 states in the U.S., including Texas, New York, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii, California, Utah, Wisconsin, Georgia, Washington, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

For more information on Colombian products and the free trade agreement, please visit http://www.proexport.com.co/en.

Contact: Marissa Lyman,  212-880-5352

©2012 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.

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