The Free Trade Agreement between the European Union, Colombia, and Peru was signed in 2012 and entered into force in 2013. This agreement aims to eliminate trade barriers between the EU and these two Latin American countries, increase trade and investment, and foster economic growth.
One of the main benefits of this agreement is the reduction of tariffs on goods and services traded between the EU and Colombia and Peru. Tariffs are taxes imposed on imported goods, which increase their prices and make them less competitive. By reducing tariffs, the agreement makes it easier and cheaper for businesses to sell their products and services in both markets, leading to increased trade volumes and higher revenues.
In addition to lowering tariffs, the EU-Colombia-Peru FTA also includes provisions on the protection of intellectual property, public procurement, and competition policy. These measures create a level playing field for businesses operating in both markets and ensure fair competition. Moreover, the FTA promotes sustainable development and respect for labor and environmental standards, which enhances the well-being of workers and the environment in both regions.
The FTA has already shown positive results for EU-Colombia-Peru trade relations. Since its entry into force, the EU has seen a significant increase in exports to Colombia and Peru, particularly in the chemical and machinery sectors. Likewise, Colombian and Peruvian exports to the EU have also grown, mainly in agriculture and mining products.
Despite the benefits of the FTA, some concerns have been raised regarding its impact on vulnerable sectors in Colombia and Peru, such as small-scale farmers and indigenous communities. Critics argue that the FTA could lead to the displacement of local producers and the loss of traditional knowledge and biodiversity. However, the agreement includes provisions for cooperation and assistance to these sectors, aiming to support their transition to more competitive and sustainable activities.
In conclusion, the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union, Colombia, and Peru is a significant milestone in the relationship between these regions. By promoting trade and investment, protecting intellectual property, and enhancing labor and environmental standards, the agreement fosters economic growth and sustainable development. While some challenges remain, the FTA offers opportunities for businesses and societies to work together towards a more prosperous and inclusive future.