Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia
Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia Image Credit: Supplied

Food security cooperation, and a commitment to carbon neutrality and environmental sustainability are key elements that can boost UAE-Colombia trade, said Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia, who addressed delegates on March 24 at the Global Business Forum Latin America (GBF LATAM) 2022 in Dubai.

In a video message, the Colombian president highlighted the economic strides his country had made in recent years.

“Last year, we reached a record high in non-mining and energy exports. For example, in the agricultural sector, we consolidated our position as a strategic country to assure food security at a global level. Today, Colombia is viewed as one of the most important suppliers of food, not only because of our productive potential and value added, but because of our bet on environmental sustainability and zero carbon emissions by 2050,” he said.

“That is why we are committed, together with the United Arab Emirates, to capitalise opportunities for companies in both countries,” he added.

Discussing the importance of the UAE to his country, the president pointed to the growth of exports from Colombia to the UAE, saying that the furthering of free trade agreements were the essential underpinning of bilateral trade.

“Between 2019 and 2021, non-mining and energy exports to the United Arab Emirates increased by 53 percent. This ratifies the importance of our deepening of our relations by advancing in the negotiation of free trade agreements. Likewise, we are committed to ratifying the Air Service Agreement and the double taxation agreement,” he said.

Concluding his address to delegates at the forum, he congratulated the UAE for hosting the successful Expo 2020 Dubai and expressed his hope for Colombia to host the next edition of GBF LATAM.

Organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai, GBF LATAM 2022 brought together heads of state, ministers, government officials, business leaders and industry experts from the UAE and Latin America over two days of insightful and interactive sessions.

Bearing the theme Towards a Resilient Future, the forum is held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.