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Germany strengthens its ties with Colombia

Article - October 29, 2012
The European nation is not only Colombia’s top European trading partner, but also has important social ties such as scientific research
Strengthening its economic relationship with the European Union, Colombia shares its most significant ties in the region with Germany, an increasingly important trading partner and foreign investor.

The countries not only share considerable bilateral trade, but Colombia, named by a recent JP Morgan survey as the second most promising country in Latin America for investments over the next three years after Brazil, appears to be a favourable investment opportunity for Germany, a country looking to increase its presence in the region.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has affirmed her nation’s interest in the continued strengthening of European ties in Latin America, meeting last year in Germany with Colombia’s president, Juan Manual Santos to negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) expected to be signed this year.

The FTA, which is between the European Union, Colombia and Peru, ensures mutual benefits for the nations, eliminating various tariffs, widening market access, highly benefiting the already significant bilateral trade, and promoting direct foreign investment (FDI). In fact, German FDI in Colombia between 2000 and 2010 totaled around €800 million.

German imports from Colombia resulted in almost €1 billion whereas German exports to Colombia amounted to approximately €1.2 billion. Much of Colombia’s exports to Germany are agricultural such as bananas and coffee, whereas German exports to the Latin American country include aircrafts, engines, medicine and capital goods. Germany has also expressed interest in Colombia’s flourishing mining industry due to the shortage of raw materials within Europe.

Although Colombia was formerly a developing nation, it is now considered a middle-income economy, modifying its more charitable past relationship with the richer German counterpart to one of mutual benefits. With the European Union in the midst of a deep economic crisis, Colombia’s growth, due largely to intelligent economic reforms implemented at the end of the 1990s, has caused the relationship to be one increasingly of equals.

“We see a very promising future in the strengthening of our strategic relationship with Germany.”

Juan Mayr Maldonado, Colombian Ambassador
to Germany

“We are leaving behind our past. We have overcome some great difficulties thanks to our vision of the future and our enormous optimism,” states Colombian Ambassador to Germany, Juan Mayr Maldonado, noting the remarkable improvements in security and quality of life in the Latin American country including a rise in GDP per capita from $2,480 in 2000 to $6,360 in 2010.

“Last year Germany presented its new policy of cooperation with Latin America. Germany is beginning to play an extremely important role in the region and for this reason we see a very promising future in the strengthening of our strategic relationship with Germany,” he adds.

Furthermore, Mr Mayr refers to the ever-growing relationship as a “win-win situation” for both nations, with its base being one of sustainable business and economic development largely through foreign investment. Germany is currently the country with the most FDI worldwide, yet only 0.07 per cent of this total number is destined for Colombia, pointing to great potential, which Mr Mayr thinks could possibly double or triple in the upcoming years.

However, this relationship is not new. Germany has had a long history with Colombia including successful Germanic companies such as Bavaria, the leading brand of beer, as well as Siemens and Bayer.
The close relationship between the two countries is not only based on their economic prospects, but also on important social aspects such as tourism – with the number of Germans visiting Colombia increasing by 55 per cent last year, according to Mr Maldonado – as well as cientific and academic collaboration.

The education system in the Latin American nation is based on the German system, a fact that along with the help of the German Academic Exchange Service, facilitates partnerships between universities. In recent years, the number of Colombian academics in Germany has grown steadily reaching about 1,600, while an increasing number of German researchers are making their way to Colombia’s renowned universities, further establishing ties important for the continued collaboration of the two countries.


Stiert Muentefering
03/09/2013  |  14:28
100% of 1

Germany definitely needs stronger ties, we don't do enough business with Colombia... i think our relationship doesn't go further than Adrián Ramos in the Bundesliga