Colombia and the United Kingdom will sign a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on Wednesday, with which they hope to keep the borders open after the British leave the European Union.
Ecuador and Peru will also be part of this FTA. The agreement will be signed on the 15th in Quito (Ecuador) and will culminate a process that, even though the parties claim was very fast, has suffered delays.
All the governments sought to maintain the FTA that currently exists between the EU and the three Andean countries, which will cease to be in force at the moment when the United Kingdom executes the Brexit.
"This FTA is actually an extension of the one we currently have with the European Union, and is a way to ensure that Colombia does not lose its preferential access to the British market, which is worth US $500 million, due to the Brexit," stated the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Jose Manuel Restrepo.
"Colombia can't put at risk such an important market. All parties worked to find the mechanism of not affecting trade between countries and avoiding any type of uncertainty that may arise from the UK's exit from the EU," he added.
According to the head of the Trade portfolio, this FTA was mainly developed to protect the agricultural sector, as 70% of the exports made to the United Kingdom correspond to agricultural products, such as banana or coffee, which would have seen affected in case of not having this pact at the time of the Brexit.