The Colombian government is pushing to increase exports to Vietnam, specifically targeting products such as coffee, wood, beef, and leather.
By signing a memorandum of understanding last month, both countries formalized their interest in strengthening economic ties, eliminating trade barriers, and working with the private sector within each country to involve relevant companies and producer associations.
Regarding the current challenges, Soraya Caro Vargas — vice minister of business development within the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism — highlighted some regulatory and logistical issues that will need to be ironed out.
“It is necessary for countries to share clear information on compliance with technical regulations and the understanding of sanitary and phytosanitary measures and procedures to eliminate the technical barriers that today prevent us from bringing new products to that market,” she said in a statement.
Vargas, who signed the memorandum along with Do Thang Hai, vice minister of industry and commerce of Vietnam, added that Colombia is seeking to establish more clear-cut trade goals and achieve a more balanced and diverse trade balance by 2029, which will mark 50 years of bilateral relations between the two countries.
This includes the establishment of a Colombia/Vietnam joint economic committee that will be tasked with identifying opportunities for trade, investments, and development of cooperation projects. Specifically, this will include prioritizing areas related to the industrialization of the agricultural sector, energy transition, and decarbonization of the economies.
Additionally, work will begin through planning and technical committees that will begin to operate in 2024.
Further bilateral cooperation will take the form of sharing technical assistance and information, conducting joint studies, and organizing training programs, seminars, conferences, and meetings.
(Photo credit: MinCIT)