DG Azevêdo said:
“After over half a century of conflict, Colombia seems to be poised to enter a new, more peaceful, prosperous era. This will bring a range of new economic opportunities for the country, and I think that trade can be key in seizing those opportunities. I want to ensure that the WTO is Colombia’s partner in this effort.
“The Trade Facilitation Agreement will be particularly important. By cutting Colombia’s trade costs by up to 13% this Agreement can help the country to compete internationally and integrate into global production chains. It is important now that the country ratifies this deal in order to turn the potential benefits of the Agreement into a reality. Colombia is also a part of the expanded Information Technology Agreement eliminating tariffs on a range of IT products, trade in which is worth approximately $1.3 trillion each year. This will lower the costs of doing business for companies here in Colombia, helping to foster their integration into global markets.
“These agreements will have a real impact in Colombia, and there is an opportunity now to deliver more through the WTO. Colombia’s engagement in shaping this work will be as important as ever. I look forward to working together with Colombia’s leaders to ensure that trade and the WTO contribute fully to a more prosperous outlook for the country.”
As part of his visit the Director-General delivered a lecture at the University Sergio Arboleda. His speech is available here.