When the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) renewal was implemented during 2001, the seizing of tariff benefits barely amounted to 14%. Meanwhile, during its first year, the FTA has helped boost Colombian exports to the USA by 58%.
According to a performance survey on the agreement’s first year conducted by Proexport, the association that promotes international tourism, foreign investment and non-traditional exports in Colombia, between May 2012 and February 2013, the treaty has led to greater stability promoting long-term business, particularly with regard to non-mining energy products.
Based on figures reported by The National Administrative Department of Statistics (Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadistica, DANE), the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism recorded 187 new products as being exported to the USA and 775 Colombian companies making their first entry into the American market during the same period.
In addition, 44 US cities from 23 different states purchased at least one Colombian product for the first time, including socks in Alameda, cosmetics in Culver City, containers and wrapping material in Beverly Hills, auto parts in Bristol and Columbus, and prefabricated construction materials in Athens.
The textile and apparel industry was one of the sectors benefiting most. This sector grew by 3.9% during this period, with sales exceeding US$200 million. Leather manufacturing, shapewear, and underwear were among the products that showed significant growth. Of special note was a 110% increase in swimsuit exports with the Department of Antioquia and Valle del Cauca as the main exporting regions.
This trade agreement has greatly assisted Colombia in establishing its position as one of the major suppliers to the USA. During the last 10 years, Colombia climbed 12 positions as a US world supplier by rising from 32th place in 2000 to 20th place in 2012.
Proexport – An Ally to leverage FTAs
Identifying opportunities is just a single step in the process of seizing them. Learning about markets is one of the main challenges for many entrepreneurs. That’s why Proexport is there as their best possible partner.
The agency has available resources and a team of professionals who, besides monitoring trends and business opportunities, organize frequent events to educate participants about the technical requirements from different countries and the key aspects of leveraging FTAs.
In 2013, to celebrate the first anniversary of the FTA with the USA, Proexport organized investment, tourism and public procurement conferences, an exploratory mission and a business matchmaking forum in Miami that yielded an expected US$140 million in business opportunities.
Learn more at http://www.proexport.com.co/en.