Colombia Trade Deal Gives Canadian Firms a Big Boost

The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement came into force on August 15, 2011, giving a boost to Canadian companies in five important sectors: agriculture, information and communications technologies, mining, oil and gas, and services.

The agreement gives Canadians access to new markets, customers and partnerships, creating stronger supply and production chains. The agreement will:

  • improve market access
  • remove or reduce trade barriers
  • make Canadian goods more competitive
  • reduce or eliminate tariffs on Canadian exports
  • allow free transfer of investment capital
  • provide investor protection and assurances
  • protect against unlawful expropriation
  • assure access to binding international arbitration

A separate double taxation agreement will also ensure that people or businesses from one country are not taxed in both countries when they do business in the other.

The Canadian pork industry, for instance, will likely see its exports double to about $12 million within the next three years, starting immediately, says Jacques Pomerleau, President of Canada Pork International, the industry association that represents Canada’s pork producers.

“We really needed to level the playing field,” says Pomerleau. According to Pomerleau, Canadian pork exporters had to contend with difficult market conditions before this free trade agreement was negotiated. “It used to be very difficult to calculate import tariffs,” he says. “Tariffs would vary constantly. One day we would pay a 25-percent tariff; the next it would be 5 percent and you never really knew why. Now, we have transparent and stable access to a very important market, and that is great news for Canadian companies.”

Canada’s interest in Colombia is growing strongly, and the market is attracting Canadian businesses—oil and gas, mining and manufacturing, in particular. The country has undergone important economic and legal reforms, spurring democracy and global direct investment. The business climate is now stable and predictable, making Colombia a secure business partner and a solid investment destination. Colombia also offers attractive investment incentives. It has more than 40 free trade zones where the corporate tax rate is 15 percent. Also, imported materials are exempt from customs duties and value-added taxes.

Learn more about the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement.