The European Union’s free trade agreement has now been approved to include Colombia and Peru and will go into effect in the second half of 2012 and the GDP or both South American countries is set to have an increase of 1%. The agreement will now be passed to the European Council and Parliament for final ratification. ”I can confirm that the FTA with Colombia and Peru has been approved by the college of commissioners,” a source told Spanish news agency EFE. The adoption of a proposal by the college of commissioners signals the end of the first of three stages of being passed into E.U. law. The newly proposed free trade agreement will be put in place to get rid of tariffs on all industrial and fishery products, broaden access to agricultural products, improve access to public contracts, services and investment markets, reduce technical obstacles to trade and establish common controls in relation to intellectual property rights. In this agreement, it will also include a clause for the protection of human rights and the rule of law and also to effectively apply international conventions related to labor rights and protection of the environment. In November 2009, the signing of the FTA with Colombia was not approved due to the poor human rights record but since then has drastically improved.
Reported by Toni Peters on Colombiareports.com
Oil production in Venezuela has fallen swiftly and the country which was once the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter, now sits in the 11th spot. In 2002, President Hugo Chavez was responsible for firing nearly 20,000 oil production workers after being criticized for mismanagement of the country and after revolts from workers arose, quoted, “I don’t have any problems firing everyone I need to fire,” Since those days, many of these oil workers from petroleum engineers to geologists and managers who were banished have taken their highly valued skills to countries such as Iraq and Canada.
This surge of Venezuelan petro-scientists has been however, most vital in Colombia, where production of crude has sharply increased from 540,000 barrels to 1 million only since 2005.
Oil companies such as Pacific Rubiales Energy, which is listed on the Toronto stock exchange has increased production from 14,000 barrels a day to 224,000 just last week since as recently as 2007. Much of the top management from a Venezuelan oil company Pdvsa is now top management with Pacific Rubiales and brings on average 25 years of experience.
Colombia is now being considered as a destination and much of rural Colombia has been pacified after a long army offensive supported by U.S. aid in addition to Colombia’s previous government which offered financial incentives that lured scores of oil companies. One in particular who was noted for sharply criticizing Chavez who is now in Colombia, is Calderon who had once led Pdvsa, was recently interviewed and in response to the question, ‘Where could we go?’ which was posed in 2002 now answers, “Colombia has thousands of square kilometers of basins that have not been explored,” “So we said, ‘There’s great potential. We have to go there.’ ” and with their links to the oil industry and investors, they were able to raise enough capital to begin operations in Colombia. German Hernandez, a Colombian who oversees operations was quoted saying, “We were fewer than 20 people, practically living in tents with mosquito netting, today we are the number one project in the petroleum industry in Colombia.”
Article revised from the Washinton Post, By Juan Forero, Published: September 15
Compare to the same period last year where the number was almost 25%, the growth in Colombian imports are attributed in part to increased foreign purchases of vehicles and parts. These purchases showed an increment of 100,1% with almost 600 million US dollars. Followed by the group’s purchases of aviation and space, that showed an increase of 94%.
The largest imports where from the USA, with over 1.200,0 million dollars, followed by France with 310 million dollars and China with over 600 million dollars.
The largest increase occurred in products originated from USA, where there was an increase of 11,5 percentage points from the first quarter last year and the same period this year. The growth is partly explained by higher purchases of fuels, mineral oils and American products.
Although the largest imports were from USA, Colombia also imported from Latin American countries such as Peru and Ecuador, that also increased 43,1% compared to 24,1%, from last year. Though the Bolivian purchases decreased 40%.
Read here there entire article from EL TIEMPO (in Spanish)