The European Parliament voted in favor of the provisional application of the Trade Agreement between Colombia and the European Union (EU). In Colombia, the Agreement has been approved already in plenary session of the Colombian Senate, and is awaiting the same procedure at the second committee and the plenary session of the House of Representatives. The Agreement is expected to enter into force as of the end of the first semester of 2013. In this sense, it is worth mentioning that the EU is a market with more than 500 million consumers that generates around 28,3% of global production and a GDP of around USD 17,578 trillion. The EU is also the first importer of goods and services in the world, it is the second trade partner of Colombia and a key investor.
Some opportunities derived from the Agreement:
- Access to the largest market in the world. For industrial goods, including fishery, 99,9% of Colombian exports will have 0% tariff from the first day of application of the Agreement. For agricultural goods, it was agreed a tariff phase out with timelines that go until 15 years, without completely liberalizing all products. It should be highlighted that Colombia achieved significant results in banana, sugar, and beef.
- Access without tariffs to the importation of machinery and equipment among other elements not produced in Colombia, which is something that will definitely enhance the Colombian industrial sector.
- Stimulus to professional services exports, call centers, telemedicine, data processing or environmental and computer services, just to mention a few.
- Colombian companies will have non-discriminatory access to government procurement at all EU government levels.
- Improved access in maritime, financial and telecommunication services.
- Investment flows promotion of between the EU and Colombia.
How may the businesses and companies benefit from the Agreement? The key for getting the best out of this new economic scenario is to know, understand, plan ahead and finally take advantage of the opportunities derived from the Trade Agreement.