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Our relationship with Colombia

New Zealand opened its newest Post, in Bogotá, Colombia, in February 2018, having previously been accredited from our Embassy in Santiago, Chile.

Colombia’s economic growth and international profile have increased impressively in a short period. Colombia is projected to become South America’s second largest economy (and the third largest in Latin America) by 2020.  

  

Political and foreign policy connections

New Zealand enjoys a friendly, cooperative relationship with Colombia:

  • New Zealand's Foreign Minister presided over the United Nations Security Council’s unanimous adoption of Resolution 2307 in September 2016 welcoming  Colombia’s Peace Agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People’s Army (FARC-EP) and approving the mandate of the UN political mission to assist the parties in laying down their arms and ending over a half century of conflict.
  • New Zealand supports Colombia’s post-conflict development and peace implementation, and has made a NZD$1 million contribution to humanitarian demining efforts (including the use of New Zealand-developed thermite technology). 
  • Since 2012, New Zealand has been an active Observer of the Pacific Alliance, a regional integration initiative comprised of Colombia, Chile, Mexico, and Perú. New Zealand launched negotiations towards a high-quality and comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) with the Pacific Alliance in June 2017. Once negotiations are concluded and the FTA is in force, New Zealand will become an Associated State of the Pacific Alliance.
  • Agricultural cooperation is increasing between our countries, with early successes from our New Zealand Aid Dairy Value Chain Project and new opportunities under the New Zealand-Pacific Alliance Agriculture Cooperation Initiative, such as a dairy farming internship, and supply chain integrity programme visits to both New Zealand and Colombia.   

Trade

2017 statistics

Total trade in goods 

 $45 million

 

Exports to Columbia

 $21 million

Top exports: confectionary and technical instruments

Imports from Columbia

 $24 million

Top imports: coffee, tea, mate and spices

 

Trade opportunities

Services trade between New Zealand and Colombia is diverse and deepening.  A bilateral Air Services Agreement was signed in 2017.

New Zealand companies are targeting Colombian opportunities in agribusiness, food processing, retail (food and beverage, fuel), construction, aviation, and health.

New Zealand agribusiness technologies, particularly in the dairy sector, have the potential to support the Colombian sector lift its productivity and profitability.

New Zealand exporters interested in opportunities should consult the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) market guide to Colombia.

Market guide to Colombia (external link)

Education

  • The number of Colombian students choosing to study in New Zealand is growing steadily. In 2016, 1,153 Colombian students were enrolled at New Zealand educational institutions, with 35% growth over the last five years.
  • New Zealand is committed to its bilateral education relationship with Colombia.  A joint Statement of Intent signed in Wellington in May 2013 between the Colombian Ministry of Education and Education New Zealand (ENZ) committed both sides to bi-annual bilateral education consultations.
  • Colombia is a preferred destination for the Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Latin America (PMSLA), sending New Zealand students into the region.  The scheme aims to build New Zealand education institutions’ connections with their Latin American counterparts; strengthen people-to-people links; and promote understanding of the strength and quality of New Zealand’s education system.

Scholarships for Colombians  

Aid and development

New Zealand’s aid and development efforts in Colombia focus on a dairy development project delivered by Agribusiness Development Group and a water catchment management project delivered by Landcare Research.

New Zealand aid programme in Latin America 

Embassies

New Zealand is represented in Colombia by the New Zealand Embassy, Bogotá


Colombia is represented in New Zealand by:

  • the Embassy of Colombia, Canberra, and
  • the Consulate-General of Colombia in Auckland 

Recent official visits

New Zealand to Colombia

  • Foreign Minister, Gerry Brownlee, and Trade Minister, Todd McClay, attended the Pacific Alliance Summit in Cali in June 2017.
  • The Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, Mike Petersen, visited Bogotá and Medellin in May 2017.
    Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Steven Joyce, visited Bogotá, together with an education delegation, in October 2016.
  • New Zealand’s Special Envoy to the Pacific Alliance, Tim Groser, visited in August 2016.
  • Trade Minister, Todd McClay, opened the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise office in Bogotá in May 2016.
    Prime Minister’s Special Envoy, Sir Jim McClay, visited Bogotá in December 2015 for a UN Security Council outreach visit.
  • The Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, Mike Petersen, visited Bogotá in August 2015.
  • Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Steven Joyce, visited Bogotá in April 2015.
  • Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, and Trade Minister, Tim Groser, led an agribusiness mission to Bogotá and Medellin in March 2014.
  • Trade Minister, Tim Groser, attended the Pacific Alliance Summit in Cali in May 2013.
  • Prime Minister, John Key, led a Ministerial and trade delegation to Bogotá in March 2013.

Colombia to New Zealand

  • Vice Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development, Juan Pablo Piñeda, led a delegation to New Zealand in December 2016 to discuss the red meat sector. 
  • Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Patti Londoño Jaramillo, visited Wellington for bilateral Foreign Policy Consultations in December 2013.
  • Vice Minister of Education, Patrizia Martinez Barrios, led a delegation to New Zealand in May 2013 for bilateral education consultations.