Colombia minister urges FTA with Japan

by Setsuko Kamiya

Colombian Foreign Minister Fernando Araujo Perdomo on Saturday said the South American country was interested in forming an economic partnership agreement with Japan.

Araujo is visiting Tokyo at the official invitation of the government from Thursday to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of a friendship and commercial treaty between the two countries.

“I would like to take the centennial as an opportunity to boost ties between Japan and Colombia in all aspects, such as diplomacy, cultural exchange and the economy,” Araujo, 53, said in an interview with The Japan Times on Saturday.

Colombia has already formed a free-trade agreement between Mexico and Venezuela as well as several other South American countries, the United States and Canada.

Araujo said that Colombia is negotiating with the European Union on setting up a free-trade agreement and is strongly interested in promoting one with Japan, which it regards as “the door to enter Asia.”

During his four-day visit from Thursday, Araujo met Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura and members of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren).

He was set to leave Japan for his home country Sunday.