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Colombia looks to Asia to diversify its exports amid trade war

Bloomberg
Bloomberg • 2 min read
Colombia looks to Asia to diversify its exports amid trade war
(Sept 26): Colombia is looking to boost trade with Asian countries as it seeks to protect the nation amid a global trade war, President Ivan Duque said.
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(Sept 26): Colombia is looking to boost trade with Asian countries as it seeks to protect the nation amid a global trade war, President Ivan Duque said.

The Andean nation is stepping up its efforts to strengthen trade relations with China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, Duque said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in New York. At the same time, the country is seeking funding for infrastructure projects such as roads and ports.

“Colombia is looking to diversify its exports and consolidate markets,” Duque said. “We will continue to call investors worldwide to look at Colombia as the place in Latin America” to invest in.

Duque said he’s working to open markets in China for Colombia’s agriculture products including avocado, bananas and beef. That would help reduce the country’s dependence on oil and coal, which account for around 60% of total exports.

There are Chinese companies interested in building a port on Colombia’s Pacific coast, and some are considering participating in the Bogota metro project, according to Duque.

China is Colombia’s biggest trading partner after the US. In 2018, the country exported 10% of its US$42 billion ($58 billion) exports to the Asian giant, especially oil and other commodities.

Other nations including South Korea and Japan are seen as big prospects for the Colombian market as the 43-year-old leader tries to attract investment in the technology sector.

“There will be a mission to South Korea soon to explore which sectors have the best potential,” Duque said. “We’ve also heard from investors in Singapore that they want to get to the Colombian capital markets” and technology.

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