Jakarta, 24 May 2011

N110524

Columbia is all set to boost its presence and enhance cooperation with ASEAN, with the opening of its embassy in Jakarta this year.

Columbia boasts the third largest economy in South America – with a GDP of more than US$400 billion. It’s population of 45 million is also the third largest population in the region.

“There are good potential for business, bilateral, and political cooperation between Columbia and ASEAN. We are looking to grow economic ties and we believe it will be a win-win situation for Columbia and ASEAN,” said Columbian Vice-Minister of Multilateral Affairs, Ms Patti Londono Jaramillo.

Expanding on the theme, Mr Gabriel Duque, Vice Minister for Foreign Trade, said Columbia is bridging to other parts of the world, and the great potential of expanding trade with ASEAN has generated a lot of interest in the country.

The two Ministers were speaking at a meeting between a delegation of Columbian foreign ministry officials, and the ASEAN Secretariat.

Responding to the interest in the region, ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General S. Pushpanathan welcomed the interest of Columbia to actively engage the ASEAN countries.

He mentioned that ASEAN and Latin America are two bright sparks of the global economy, which share a lot of similarities and have immense potential for collaboration. He pointed out distance is no longer a key issue with globalization, dynamism of both regions, and the use of information communication technology.

He briefed the Columbian delegation on the progress towards the establishment of the ASEAN Community by the year 2015, ASEAN Connectivity, cooperation in the areas of finance and combating transnational crimes.

The two sides also noted that in addition to the economic sphere, there are also potential for cooperation in other areas such as transnational crime

The Columbian delegation will also call on their Indonesian counterparts over the next few days.