For EFTA-Colombia trade statistics, see EFTA`s trade statistics tool In the trade field, the European Union has traditionally been one of Colombia`s main trading partners; In 2011, it was ranked second as a target for Colombian exports, after the United States. Last year, according to the Dane, Colombia`s world trade with the EU amounted to USD 16.340 million, an increase of 54.4% over the previous year. The main exports were coals, briquettes, solid fuel, crude oil, coffee, bananas and ferro-alloys. Prior to the ratification of the agreement, critics voiced complaints about human rights violations and environmental protection in the Andean country. Participants in the Bogota event highlighted the improvement of both aspects as a positive result of the agreement. The Investment Chapter (Chapter 5) aims to improve the legal environment for EFTA and Colombia companies investing in the other country`s markets, including by granting non-discriminatory establishment and operating rights (commercial presence) in sectors not covered by the trade in services. The agreement gradually opens up markets on both sides and increases the stability and predictability of the business and investment environment. The EFTA-Colombia Free Trade Agreement focuses mainly on the liberalization of trade in goods. Other agricultural agreements between the different EFTA states and Colombia are an integral part of the instruments for creating a free trade area. As soon as the agreement enters into force, most industrial products, including fish and other seafood, will have duty-free access to the respective markets of efTA states. For products imported into Colombia, most tariffs will be abolished after transitional periods of up to nine years.
This asymmetric treatment reflects the differences in economic development of the contracting parties. The trade provisions are contained in Chapter 2 and refer to WTO law. According to Eurostat data, free trade between the two regions has increased over the past six years, reaching more than 11 billion euros in 2018. Colombia`s main exports to the EU are coal, bananas, coffee, oil and palm oil. Overall, conference participants agreed that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has helped diversify Colombian exports and facilitate access to the European market. Chapter 4 on Trade in Services closely follows the approach of the WTO`s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). It covers the four service providers within the meaning of the GATS and is aimed at all service sectors. The chapter on trade in services deals with general disciplines, while the annexes contain more specific provisions for certain sectors (financial services, Appendix XVI; telecommunications services, Appendix XVII).