By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff signed on Friday, along with her Colombian counterpart Juan Manoel Santos several economic agreements that will bring Brazil and Colombia closer as economic partners. The official visit by Rousseff to Colombia is part of a strategy to generate more jobs and revenues for the population of both South American nations.
“In 2014 the bilateral trade exchange went from US$1.5 billion to US$4 billion,” said Rousseff during a press conference in the neighboring country. “I believe that this is only the start of a process, which I have no doubt will be advantageous for the population and economies of our countries.”
In addition to signing bilateral agreements in industrial cooperation, Rousseff and Santos also signed agreements to cooperate in the financial, scientific research, security, communication, transports and sports sectors.
One of the most important trade agreements signed by the two presidents was the one that establishes a zero automobiles import tariff between the two countries in 2016. The agreement states that up to 12,000 vehicles will have no import tariff next year, with the number increasing to 25,000 in 2017 and 50,000 in 2018.
Another issue discussed by the two presidents was those related to the indigenous populations of both countries. Brazilian authorities hope the official visit will advance talks between Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela) and the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Mexico, Peru and Colombia).
Brazilian authorities are concerned that its foreign trade participation in the Pacific region will suffer with the recently announced Trans-Pacific Partnership.