27 March 2006
Colombia and Guatemala Plan Free Trade Talks in June (Update1)
March 27 (Bloomberg) — Colombia and Guatemala plan to meet in June for the first of six monthly meetings to work out an agreement to free trade between the two countries.
``These talks seek to reach an accord that allow both countries to improve their access to the respective market and promote mutual investments in a bid to achieve higher development rates,’’ Colombian Trade Minister Jorge Humberto Botero was quoted as saying in a statement published on the President’s Web site.
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said in January the South American nation would negotiate free trade agreements with Guatemala and El Salvador.
Colombia expects a free trade accord signed with the U.S. in February will boost exports to its biggest trading partner by 14 percent over three years. The increase would add one percentage point of growth a year to Colombia’s gross domestic product, Botero said when the accord was reached.