olom­bia tries to boost apan ties

Viet Nam News - - World -

BOGOTA — Colom­bian Pres­i­dent Juan Manuel Santos has met with Ja­pan ’ s Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe, calling for ac­cel­er­ated bi­lat­eral trade talks and more in­vest­ment by the Asian eco­nomic pow­er­house.

Speak­ing af­ter a meet­ing at the pres­i­den­tial palace, Santos on Tues­day noted that Ja­pan was the big­gest Asian in­vestor in Colom­bia.

“We are look­ing at the pos­si­bil­ity of in­creas­ing these in­vest­ments in many ar­eas,” Santos said. “This is why we have an agree­ment on pro­tec­tion of in­vest­ments,” he added, not­ing the leg­is­la­tion had al­ready passed through Colom­bia’s par­lia­ment.

Santos also em­pha­sised his coun­try’s de­sire to se­cure a bi­lat­eral trade agree­ment, an is­sue which has al­ready been the sub­ject of six rounds of talks.

“We have in­structed our del­e­ga­tions to ac­cel­er­ate these ne­go­ti­a­tions, to give our prod­ucts bet­ter ac­cess to the Ja­panese mar­ket,” Santos said.

Im­ports from Ja­pan were val­ued at US$ 1.5 bil­lion in 2013, com­pared to ex­ports to­wards Asia to­talling $390 mil­lion ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures.

The first Ja­panese leader to visit Colom­bia, Abe said he hoped his visit would boost bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and co-op­er­a­tion on “global is­sues”. Abe has al­ready vis­ited Mex­ico and Trinidad and Tobago dur­ing his tour of the re­gion. He was due to visit Chile yes­ter­day be­fore head­ing to Brazil to­day. —

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