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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...

Indonesia Ratifies Free Trade Agreement with Australia

Indonesia Ratifies Free Trade Agreement with Australia

Indonesian lawmakers have officially ratified free trade agreements with Australia. The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, also known as IA-CEPA, is the beginning of a new chapter of cooperation between these regional neighbors. The bilateral pact was agreed by at least 374 representative members during a plenary session on 6 February 2020.  Indonesia is a growing market for Australian goods and services exporters. In the years 2018-19, the total two-way trade in goods and services with Indonesia was worth AU$17.8 billion (approximately US$11.8 billion), making Indonesia the thirteenth-largest trading partner of Australia. The partnership agreement between Australia and Indonesia will provide both countries’ businesses with opportunities to expand and diversify this partnership. Cooperation objectives from the Indonesia-Australia free trade agreement There are three key objectives set out in the trade agreement in order to increase the effectiveness of economic institutions and infrastructure, improve human development for a productive society, and create an inclusive society through effective governance. Objective 1: Effective economic institutions and infrastructure Strengthening economic institutions and infrastructure is important to Indonesia's development. Australia is helping Indonesia to increase inclusive growth and productive jobs through its public policy and regulatory settings.  The two countries are also working to strengthen access to agricultural markets for farmers in Eastern Indonesia, driving economic development and...

Digital Trade Agreement Supports E-commerce in New Zealand, Chile, Singapore

Digital Trade Agreement Supports E-commerce in New Zealand, Chile, Singapore

New Zealand e-commerce companies stand to benefit from a new digital trade agreement with Chile and Singapore. In January 2020, the 3 countries concluded negotiations on a ‘Digital Economy Partnership Agreement’ (DEPA). This agreement aims to support digital trade channels and digital economy growth between the countries, and identify new opportunities for international e-commerce businesses. New Zealand online-based companies are empowered to secure new international trade channels with two key partners in Asia and Latin America through increasingly popular digital platforms. We explore what this digital trade agreement means for e-commerce opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region. What’s in the New Zealand-Chile-Singapore digital trade agreement? The DEPA aims to support digital trade channels and digital economy growth between the countries, and identify new opportunities for international e-commerce businesses. The Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) between New Zealand, Chile and Singapore specifically targets the promotion and growth of e-commerce opportunities between these Asia-Pacific countries. The scope covers opportunities for cooperation, challenges and areas to consider for a future of increased trade in the digital era. E-commerce companies in the signing countries will receive greater support to expand internationally, and provide their products and services to new markets. According to the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), the DEPA digital trade agreement outlines a number of key areas for digital economy development,...

5 Key Outcomes From the Australia-Peru Free Trade Agreement

5 Key Outcomes From the Australia-Peru Free Trade Agreement

The Australia-Peru Free Trade Agreement (PAFTA) was signed by both Australia and Peru on 12 February 2018 in Canberra. The agreement looks to strengthen bilateral relations whilst also better integrate the two nation’s economies as a way to stimulate growth and encourage more foreign investors to incorporate businesses in their territories.  The two nations formally integrated through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) however after its recent struggle with the USA, trade slowed and both nations suffered. To fill the void, Peru and Australia sought their own trade agreement. Consequently, 3 years on, both nations eagerly await the ratification of a seminal and hugely beneficial trade agreement – The Australia-Peru Free Trade Agreement.  Australia is globally recognized as a mature and stable economy with a trade-focused outlook, exporting 18.8 as a percentage of GDP. Having reported a stagnating economy since 2013, Australia looks to greater export as a method for recovery. Peru, on the other hand, is one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America revealing a 5-year compound annual growth rate of 4.5%. Similar to Australia in terms of its reliance on export, Peru also looks to trade as the key to its continued expansion. Outcomes of Australia-Peru Free Trade Agreement (PAFTA) By the nature of geography, both Australia and Peru are nations somewhat isolated from the major consumer markets – Asia, North America, and Europe. This means their economies are largely reliant on trade and bilateral relations. When the TPP stalled in 2017, both nations looked to each other...

Biz Latin Hub Mexico Attends ANZMEX Leadership Workshop

Biz Latin Hub Mexico Attends ANZMEX Leadership Workshop

Last week, Biz Latin Hub’s Mexico team attended the "Leading Experience - Leadership Workshop" organized by ANZMEX (Australia-New Zealand-Mexico Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc.), Austrade (Australian Trade and Investment Commission), the Australian Embassy and 8 of the largest universities in Australia.  The event included keynote appearances from Donald Smallwood (President of ANZMEX), Gabrielle Hall (Business Development Manager AUSTRADE), Sergio Almazán (Director of ANZMEX) and other leading figures in their industries. ANZMEX Leadership Workshop - Building international connections through leadership First speaker, Dr. Dan Caprar, Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney Business School addressed topics related to 'Leading in a complex world.' Dr. Caprar spoke about the different types of leadership and that today, we live in a world where everyone wants to be a leader, and so these skills are crucial. He asserted that a leader can possess any number of attributes.  The next presenter, Professor John Shields, Academic Director International at University of Sydney Business School addressed the ‘dark side’ of leadership. He discussed how people perceive ‘good’ and ‘bad’ command. This idea acknowledged that flaws in a leader are to be expected but aren’t fatal to character, as long as a person can be self-aware of their weaknesses.  As leaders, we are constantly working towards achieving an objective. Good leaders adapt to their situation and understand the values of their team members and understand how to reward and empower people.  Finally, the last presenter...

Overview: Trade and Connectivity Between Australia and Colombia

Overview: Trade and Connectivity Between Australia and Colombia

Colombia is the fourth-largest economy in Latin America, after Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. With major improvements in security aspects and steady economic growth, the country constitutes a large, vibrant economy that is embracing market openness and attracting increasing attention from international investors and businesses. This includes mining and agricultural giant, Australia. The level of involvement of the Australian business community in this Latin American country has been aided by the recent opening of the new Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia’s capital. Moreover, Australia is currently negotiating its first FTA with Colombia through the Pacific Alliance regional trading bloc (comprising of members Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru). Australia-Colombia - Two megadiverse, interconnected countries Australia and Colombia share a classification as 2 of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries, each possessing a world-ranking wealth of natural resources. As a result, these two powerhouses present economic symmetry in booming tourism, mining and agriculture industries. Additionally, these economies both demonstrate a keenness to expand their international trade horizons, and see great potential in each other for increased connectivity. Australia, the island state-continent, is a trading gateway to Asia, with strong ties to major players such as China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Hong Kong. Australia also participates in multilateral agreements in this region, primarily through the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and...

First Panamanian Ambassador to Australia Discusses Bilateral Opportunities

First Panamanian Ambassador to Australia Discusses Bilateral Opportunities

Biz Latin Hub’s Chelsea Heywood had the privilege of talking to Panama’s first Ambassador to Australia, Marcelino Avilés. Marcelino discusses his plans for the first Panamanian Embassy, located in Canberra, to boost the Australia-Panama relationship, and shares insights on what these two countries can offer each other to develop strong trade and business ties. Australia-Panama Relations What led you to take up the role of the first Panamanian Ambassador to Australia? I have had different roles in my diplomatic career over the past 15 years. I have previously been posted in Peru and Israel. In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I worked in a diverse range of directorates, like policy, protocol, international organizations, international economic relations and, before my ambassadorship, I was responsible for technical cooperation and scholarships. On top of my experience, my postgraduate degree in higher education – which is one of Australia’s key exports to Latin America - and Master of International Business, helped me to be considered for this important role. When I was in Peru, I set up the Peruvian-Panamanian Chamber of Commerce, which was a great achievement on an international relations level, but also on a personal level. It took one year to create. It makes me proud to see it is still going and that there are greater numbers of people and businesses wanting to do business between Panama and Peru than ever before as a consequence of this institution and the free trade agreement between both countries. I would like to do something similar here, because Panama has now a...

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