The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched the U.S.-Colombia Business Council, an organization that will endeavor to build upon already close economic ties between the two countries in order to foster a stronger, more robust commercial partnership. The Council will examine impediments to expanding trade and investment and propose solutions; promote commercial opportunities for American and Colombian workers, farmers, and companies; and support economic growth in Colombia, particularly through post-conflict initiatives. The Council aims to work with both governments to set policy priorities and share best practices to foster both countries’ economic competitiveness in the global marketplace.
“Colombia, having emerged as a leader in the hemisphere, has a fascinating economic story to tell, and the Chamber is excited to be a part of the next chapter through the work of the U.S.-Colombia Business Council,” said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of International Affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Colombia is a critical market for many American companies, so we are eager to build on the progress achieved by the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, step up our engagement, and set our eyes on the future of this partnership.”
The impetus for the formation of the U.S.-Colombia Business Council was a December 2016 advisory forum in Cartagena, Colombia, hosted by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and organized by the U.S. Chamber, the Embassy of Colombia, the National Business Association of Colombia (ANDI), and AmCham Colombia. A U.S. government delegation, led by then-Vice President Joe Biden, also played a key role in the forum. At that meeting, the U.S. Chamber and ANDI signed a memorandum of understanding that laid the foundation for greater private-sector cooperation and for the formation of a council.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a long track record of support for the trade relationship with Colombia. The US is Colombia’s largest trading partner, representing 31.8 per cent of Colombia’s exports in 2016. Colombia is the United States’ third largest trade partner in Latin America. US companies invested USD 6.2 billion in Colombia in 2015.
The U.S.-Colombia Business Council is comprised of over a dozen companies representing a broad cross-section of industries and sectors.