The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of Spain, Reyes Maroto, ratified that Colombia it’s a “first class economic partner” in Latin America, speaking at a Spanish-Colombian business cooperation meeting led by the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez.
The event took place on Wednesday, August 24.
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Maroto highlighted the “importance that Colombia has for Spain from an economic and commercial point of view“, emphasizing that it is the second investor in the Latin American country after the United States, and the “mutual interest” which translates into the commitment of both governments to strengthen relations.
Spanish investments in Colombia, in 2021, exceeded 1,400 million dollars, added the minister, who also explained that there are currently 800 Spanish companies installed on Colombian soil, shows that “bilateral trade relations have shown a positive and growing evolution“.
Regarding the future of these relations, the head of the Trade portfolio pointed to two sectors that will allow them to be strengthened: sightseeing, in which Spain is a pioneer, and the agribusiness for “value global chains“.
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For his part, his Colombian counterpart, German Umaña Mendoza, advanced that a “medium term schedule” to continue strengthening bilateral relations, since “On the subject of investments, undoubtedly, Spain, qualitatively, is not the second investor in Colombia, but rather the first“.
“What Spain has is investment in the productive sectors that generate value chains in small and medium-sized enterprises“Umaña added.
“We are allies, we are partners and we are complementaryadded the Colombian minister, who insisted that the main objective of the new Colombian government and, therefore, of relations, is peace.
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Peace was precisely one of the axes emphasized by the Minister of Finance and Public Credit of Colombia, Jose Antonio Ocampo who highlighted “Spanish cooperation with the peace process in Colombia“, that for the new government of the president Gustavo Petro it is “a very high priority“.
He also highlighted the “cultural cooperation of Spain, which has also been a central issue in the development” from Colombia, and insisted that “Spain is a strategic partner of Colombia in terms of investment (…) it is our number one partner in the European Union“.
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Ocampo made reference to one of the main objectives of the Colombian Government, What is it “reduce the very large fiscal deficit that we inherited as a government” and respond “to the social challenge, which is the main challenge“.
At the end of the meeting, Sánchez congratulated the “Colombian society that opens a new chapter in its democratic history“to consider the need for”move towards a development model that is sustainable and much more inclusive“.
“Spain and Colombia can and must continue to work together (…) Spain wants to further strengthen its presence in this new stage that Colombia is opening, it is vital to strengthen the ties that unite us with the Ibero-American community and with Colombia in particular“, he concluded.
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The business meeting, which took place in the Bogota Chamber of Commerce, was part of the official visit to Colombia by Pedro Sánchez.