ISLAMABAD - Colombia is now focusing on Asia for trade and economic relations and was keen to promote trade with Pakistan as it considered Pakistan a promising country for business opportunities, observed Fernando Panesso, Ambassador of Colombia.

He said Colombia established diplomatic relations with Pakistan in 1980, but bilateral trade between the two countries was negligible which needed to be improved for the benefit of both nations. He said Colombia was producing 70 percent energy through hydro sources and it could cooperate with Pakistan in this area. Interacting with business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he said Colombia was major exporter of oil, coal, coffee, flowers and both countries have the potential to cooperate in many areas including agriculture, textiles, chemicals, minerals, gems & jewelry, technology transfer and infrastructure development.

Fernando said Colombia have signed an accord with Chile, Peru and Mexico creating Pacific Alliance of four countries to more deeply integrate their economies and develop new trade links with the Asia-Pacific region and added that Pakistan could get easy access this region by enhancing trade with Colombia. He said China was emerging as major trading partner of Colombia after USA and Pakistan should also accelerate its efforts to promote trade with Colombia to achieve good results for its economy. He said Colombia has free visa arrangement with Turkey and Pakistani businessmen could visit Colombia via Turkey with ease. Speaking on the occasion, Muhammad Shakeel Munir, acting president Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the best option for Pakistan and Colombia to enhance bilateral trade was to facilitate the frequent exchange of trade delegations to explore all areas of potential cooperation. He said both countries should encourage holding of single country exhibitions and participate in each other’s trade fairs, which would help in better promoting trade relations.

He said Pakistan was producing high quality marble products and Colombia should explore possibilities of importing marble products from Pakistan. He said Pakistani textile products were known demand in the international market for good quality and Colombia should import textile products from Pakistan for the benefit of its consumers. He assured that ICCI would consider sending its business delegation to Colombia to explore new avenues of business collaboration between the two countries and Embassy of Colombia in Turkey should facilitate the visit of our delegation.