The long-awaited free trade agreement between Colombia and Israel has finally come into force. The negotiation process began in March 2012 and the FTA was signed in September 2014 after five rounds of negotiations, which ended on June 2013. However, it took eight years before the agreement finally came into effect for both parties on 11 August 2020.
According to an article on marketscreener.com¸ the foreign trade volume between the parties has traditionally been very limited, especially because their trade relationship has been based mainly on coal exportation. In 2019, mining products represented 92 per cent of Colombia's total exports to Israel, while (in the same year) Israel exported to Colombia mainly machinery and equipment, agrochemical fertilisers and chemical products and plastic resins, among others.
For instance, Colombia's positive trade balance with Israel of US$281m for the year 2019 should be noted, considering that Colombian exports to Israel (US$366m) were four times greater than Israeli imports into Colombia (US$85m).
One of the main benefits of the FTA is that 99 per cent of the industrial goods exported from Colombia to Israel are now exempt from the payment of tariff duties.
Likewise, 97 per cent of Colombia's agricultural and agro-industrial exports to Israel are also exempt from the payment of tariff duties.