The U.S. Export-Import Bank and Bancóldex on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together to facilitate trade between the United States and Colombia.
In specific, Ex-Im Bank and Bancóldex have agreed to exchange information on trade and business prospects that may present opportunities for cooperation, including expanding use of Ex-Im Bank financing by Colombian buyers for their purchases of U.S. goods and services. Key sectors include infrastructure, environmental projects, medical equipment and transportation.
Bancóldex is Colombia’s government-owned development and foreign trade bank. It functions as a secondary lender and focuses on entrepreneurship and foreign trade.
“Colombia is one of the fastest-growing markets for U.S. goods and services in Ex-Im Bank’s portfolio, and it was our single-largest country market last fiscal year,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg. “Ex-Im Bank’s agreement with Bancóldex will further encourage opportunities for both countries. It will also strengthen our ability to reach more Colombian buyers and assist more U.S. exporters in tapping the potential of this emerging market.”
Colombia’s National Investment Plan for 2011-2014 calls for an investment of more than $300 billion in infrastructure projects, a key focus area for Ex-Im Bank financing.
Hochberg conducted a business-development mission in Bogotá in August 2011, where he met with Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos and other government and business leaders. In December 2011, Ex-Im Bank hosted an event in Washington, “Infrastructure Opportunities in Colombia for U.S. Companies,” which was attended by representatives of more than 100 U.S. companies interested in doing business in Colombia.
Colombia is one of nine key markets (others are Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, South Africa, Nigeria, India, Indonesia and Vietnam) where Ex-Im Bank is focusing its business-development efforts. The bank authorized more than $3.7 billion in support of U.S. exports to Colombia in fiscal year 2011.