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Ex-Im Moves on Colombia after FTA Enters into Force

Well, that didn't take long.

The free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and Colombia entered into force on May 15, and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) has wasted no time in taking advantage of it. Three days after the FTA became effective, Ex-Im announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bancóldex, Colombia's government-owned development and foreign trade bank, to work together to further facilitate trade between the two nations.

Specifically, the MOU accounts for an exchange of information on trade and business prospects that may present opportunities for cooperation. It's a statement of general intent between Ex-Im and its Colombian equivalent to promote the availability of Ex-Im financing to Colombian companies, particularly small and mid-sized ones.

"Colombia is one of the fastest-growing markets for U.S. goods and services in Ex-Im Bank's portfolio, and it was our single-largest country market last fiscal year. We join Bancóldex in celebrating the entry into force of the historic U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement on May 15," said Ex-Im Chairman and President Fred Hochberg. "Ex-Im Bank's agreement with Bancóldex will further encourage opportunities for both countries. It will also strengthen our ability to reach more Colombian buyers and assist more U.S. exporters in tapping the potential of this emerging market."

Bancóldex CEO Santiago Rojas noted, "The free trade agreement will be an opportunity for both countries to increase their bilateral trade, which will have a positive effect on the competitiveness of each country as well as on the ability to generate employment in some sectors. The cooperation between Ex-Im Bank and Bancóldex will support the opportunities that the free trade agreement could bring to entrepreneurs."

- Jacob Barron, CICP, NACM staff writer