Columbia and NZ ‘Strategic Relationship’
President Juan Manuel Santos of Columbia and Prime Minister John Key discussed a ‘strategic relationship’ and a possible free trade agreement, writes Joey O’Gorman in Columbia Reports. John Key’s visit to Columbia was the first by a New Zealand Prime Minister. President Santos and Prime Minister Key signed an agreement to improve trade between the two countries. President Santos said the visit “signalled that New Zealand and Columbia were on the ‘path to cooperation and progress’,” Columbia Reports told readers. ‘We’d love to have a trade agreement with New Zealand,’ President Santos said. Prime Minister Key said that New Zealand would invest US$3.4 m over four years in a project with the Columbian government to support the agricultural sector, through training and the sharing of New Zealand’s agricultural expertise. President Santos said we ‘welcome and appreciate the collaboration extended by your dairy industry and… the significant investment that the private sector in New Zealand is planning in the dairy industry in our country.’ Prime Minister Key said New Zealand will back Columbia’s application to become a member of both the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) agreement and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In turn, Columbia will support New Zealand’s candidacy for a seat on the UN Security Council. Columbia opens its first-ever New Zealand consulate in April 2013.