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Claudio Ramirez, Canadian Trade Commissioner for Colombia, Discusses Trade Relations and Business Opportunities

Claudio Ramirez, Canadian Trade Commissioner for Colombia, Discusses Trade Relations and Business Opportunities

Claudio Ramirez shares his perspective on the nature of the Canada-Colombia relationship and his team's success in promoting Canada as an important partner for Colombia. Find out about the current trade relationship and business potential between Canada and Colombia from Canada's Trade Commissioner to Colombia, Claudio Ramirez. Biz Latin Hub’s Chelsea Heywood had the pleasure of connecting with Claudio to gain his insights on the bilateral trade relationship, and what Colombia can offer Canadian businesses expanding into Latin America. Claudio also shares his perspectives on the future of the relationship between these two countries and the Trade Commission's success in promoting Canada as an important partner for Colombia. 1. Could you tell us about your background with Global Affairs Canada, and what led you to take up the role as the Canadian Trade Commissioner in Colombia? I joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 2001, mere weeks after 9/11, which plunged the world into a major crisis: that of global terrorism. At that time, just like in today’s crisis (the Covid-19 pandemic), political leaders were quick to recognize that an economic recovery would require more trade between nations, not less. Back then, some 160 members of the World Trade Organization came to an agreement to launch of the Doha Round, which aimed to lower trade barriers and to reform to trade rules in order to promote economic development.  Thus, from the outset of my career in the Canadian diplomatic corps, I have always been attracted by the profound impact that doing business across borders...

Perceptions of Doing Business in Latin America: Cautious Optimism For Future Growth and Opportunities

Perceptions of Doing Business in Latin America: Cautious Optimism For Future Growth and Opportunities

In June 2020, the Biz Latin Hub team launched a survey asking for information about individuals’ perceptions about doing business in Latin America. In June 2020, the Biz Latin Hub team launched a survey asking for information about individuals’ perceptions about doing business in Latin America. We received a range of responses from 75 business owners, executives, government officials and other specialists operating in over 40 countries worldwide. 57.3% of respondents are considering expanding into the region in the future, with many expressing cautious optimism at economies' abilities to bounce back after the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out what the key takeaways from our survey indicate about people’s perceptions on doing business in Latin America. Perceptions on doing business in Latin America: who took part? 75 people responded to the Doing Business in Latin America survey. Of our respondents, nearly half (48%) were business owners, operating in Latin America and across other regions of the world, including the United States, Europe, Asia, the South Pacific, and the Middle East. 29 respondents (38.6% overall) were business owners operating in Latin America. Many survey participants were operating across more than one country. Of all respondents, 66 people (88%) noted they were working or operating their business within Latin America, and 39 respondents (52%) were operating outside of the region. A third of all respondents were running or working in a company that operates in 5 or more countries, and 16% of all respondents claimed to be operating across 10 or more...

What Does the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Mean for Business?

What Does the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Mean for Business?

The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCoFTA) has been in force since August 2011. It is Colombia’s second free trade agreement with a developed country. The negotiated items in this agreement are comparable to the commercial terms found in Canada’s other bilateral agreements with Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. Since the establishment of the agreement, trade between both countries has developed tremendously. In this article, we'll describe the principal goals, results, and opportunities of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Goals of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement The goals of the agreement include: Developing a secure market for goods and services.Creating new employment opportunities and improved working conditions.Reducing trade distortions.Ensuring a predictable commercial framework for business planning and investment.Enhancing the competitiveness of firms in global markets.Strengthening regulations regarding environmental impact.Respect internationally recognized corporate social responsibility standards. Promoting economic development to reduce poverty. Results for Canadian and Colombian business The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement has successfully eliminated tariffs on 98% of the goods and services traded. Additionally, it ensures equitable treatment for Canadian and Colombian investments in each country. Trade between both countries has grown by over 50% since the enforcement of the agreement. As a result, bilateral trade has grown by over 50% since the enforcement of the agreement. In 2019, bilateral trade reached...

Top Sectors for Business Between Canada and Mexico

Top Sectors for Business Between Canada and Mexico

Business opportunities between Canada and Mexico are often overshadowed by trade with the United States. Despite this, according to the World Integrated Trade Solution, Mexico is Canada’s fifth-largest trading partner. Mexico also has the eleventh-largest economy in the world with a population of almost 300 million. Business between Canada and Mexico has strengthened since creating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994. NAFTA is a free trade region between Canada, Mexico and the United States.  We outline top sectors and opportunities for business between Canada and Mexico. Trade and business between Canada and Mexico According to the World Integrated Trade Solution, Mexico is Canada’s fifth-largest trading partner. There are two major trade agreements that have created stronger economic ties between Canada and Mexico. The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA, also known as T-MEC or USMCA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) provide Canada and Mexico with preferential access to each other’s markets. The best sectors for business between Canada and Mexico have the highest growth potential, policy openness and leverage Canadian strengths. Top sectors include:  AerospaceMiningOil & gasAgriculture, food and beverages Aerospace In this sector, business between Canada and Mexico initiated in 2004 with the establishment of the Canadian aerospace company, Bombardier, in Mexico. This later sparked international interest towards the potential in the aerospace sector in Mexico. Since then, the...

US-Mexico Trade to Continue During Restricted Travel Period

US-Mexico Trade to Continue During Restricted Travel Period

According to the US and Mexico governments, it is essential to take measures to reduce the impact that COVID-19 could have on the economic and commercial relationship between the USA and Mexico. The two governments aim to maintain US-Mexico trade during this time. Leaders agreed to apply restrictive measures at the border to control the flow of people between Mexico and the USA. US-Mexico trade during restricted travel period Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade are permitted to travel between the US and Mexico. The United States temporarily limited inbound land border crossings from Canada and Mexico to “essential travel”. In March 2020, Presidents Trump and López Obrador met to discuss collaborative efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19. According to White House spokesperson Judd Deere, they agreed on maintaining the bilateral trade relationship over this time and speeding up the implementation of the USMCA (US, Mexico and Canada) trade agreement to support economic recovery in member countries. "President Trump and President López Obrador agreed on the importance of preserving trade and key services, regardless of travel restrictions" Deere said, referring to an agreement to limit movements across the United States-Mexico border only to essential trips. Who is permitted to travel between Mexico and the US?  Citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States, including: Individuals traveling: for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States)to attend educational institutionsto work in the United States...

Opportunities for Canadian Mining Companies in Latin America

Opportunities for Canadian Mining Companies in Latin America

Canadian mining companies in Latin America have experienced significant successes in their operations in the region. Barrick Gold, Yamana Gold and First Quantum Minerals are among many Canadian companies benefiting from Latin America’s large reserves of natural resources. From Mexico down to Chile and Argentina, Canadian investment in the region has reached unseen figures. It is not only the excavation of minerals that provides opportunities for mining companies. There are also extensive opportunities for Canadian mining service companies. The growth in the natural resource sector has created a whole new service market. The provision of services that support mining operations has taken off in Latin America. Expand your Canadian mining company to Latin America Canadian companies that have capabilities and key assets should consider transferring their expertise to Latin American markets.  A consumer- and producer-wide focus on sustainability requires innovation and alternative energy usage. Here, we have look at some of the biggest opportunities to explore for Canadian mining companies in Latin America. Canadian companies that have capabilities and key assets should consider transferring their expertise to Latin American markets. Battery electric vehicles The increasing popularity of electric cars in developed markets is very obvious. Lithium, graphite cobalt and nickel are used in batteries and investment in these minerals and metals has been colossal since the rise of EVs. Uber fleets are dominated by Toyota Prius models and Tesla charging stations are popping up in...

Canada Legalises Cannabis – New Investment Opportunities in Colombia

Canada Legalises Cannabis – New Investment Opportunities in Colombia

There has been a wave of new legislation, making the controversial drug, cannabis legal. It is increasingly being viewed in terms of its positive effects. More countries are not only starting to realize that the recreational consumption of cannabis will be safer if made legal and controlled by legislation but also the numerous uses it offers.  Canada is the most recent country to have changed its laws on cannabis. Although it is not a pioneer in this legislation, it is nevertheless a hugely developed and progressive nation in terms of its infrastructure and laws. Canada the second-largest country in the world and it is one of the world’s most educated countries. Therefore, its decision to legalize cannabis is particularly significant and has opened new doors and opportunities for the expanding medical cannabis industry in countries such as Colombia. The “Cannabis Act” - Investment in Colombia  The Canadian ‘Cannabis Act’ came into force on 17th October 2018. Although regulations were established for the legal use of medical cannabis in July 2001, further legislation this year has been enacted for legalizing the recreational use of this drug as well. A strict framework has been laid out regarding the sale and possession of cannabis as well as the production and distribution of it. The legislation also focuses on the importance of inhibiting the youth from having access to it, preventing profits from the sale of cannabis reaching criminals and protecting the health and safety of the general public by giving adults access to the plant. Here are a few key points under the new...

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