Japan-Colombia free-trade talks set

Kyodo

Japan and Colombia are scheduled to start free-trade talks on Dec. 17 to discuss a possible bilateral free trade agreement, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.

The two sides are expected to discuss areas to be covered by the possible pact and terms of reference, it said. The Japanese side will be represented by Jun Yokota, ambassador in charge of economic diplomacy.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos agreed in late September to start the talks, following a report in July involving joint research between the private and public sectors that called for such talks to be initiated.

Japan mainly exports industrial goods like automobiles to Colombia, while Colombia mainly exports coffee and other farm products to Japan.