Israel and Colombia entered into a free trade agreement on Monday, the result of negotiations begun in 2011.
The document was signed by Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett and Colombian Industry and Tourism Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados, in the presence of President Shimon Peres and Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
The agreement, to come into effect by the end of the year, will reduce tariffs on industrial and agricultural products between the two countries, and enable Israeli companies and individuals to invest with greater ease in the Colombia economy, considered one of the strongest in South America.
Israeli exports to Colombia totaled some $143 million in 2012, and consisted mostly of communications equipment, machinery, electrical and mechanical devices and chemical products, according to Hebrew news site News1.
Bennett said the agreement would open new markets for Israeli products and also “strengthen Israel’s position in Latin America.”