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Colombian foreign minister to meet Swaraj on Wednesday

The Colombian foreign minister, who arrived here last evening, also said her country was "keen" on having a free trade agreement with India, and a "good start" has been made.

November 07, 2017 / 08:06 PM IST

Colombia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Maria Angela Holguin will meet her Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday and discuss ways to boost bilateral ties.

The Colombian foreign minister, who arrived here last evening, also said her country was "keen" on having a free trade agreement with India, and a "good start" has been made.

"Our trade minister met the Indian trade minister today, and tomorrow I am meeting the foreign minister (of India)," she told PTI on the sidelines of the 26th Sapru House Lecture here.

While delivering the lecture, organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), Holguin also made a power- point presentation about Colombia and the opportunities that her country offers to the world.

The Latin American country has "15 free trade agreements in force", she said.

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Asked if Colombia wanted to enter a free trade agreement with India, she said, "Yes, we are very keen. Though we have just made a beginning, but a very good beginning."

In her lecture, she said that India and Colombia enjoy very good relations. "Our trade is also good but we want to make it better," she said.

Holguin also said her country was now endeavouring to grow while implementing the Peace Accord since November 2016.

She said reconciliation was also a challenge even as she asserted that Colombia was making strides in various sectors, and that the country was going to "change dramatically".

"We had 31 airports in 2010 and now we have 42. Since 2010, 3.2 million people have been taken out of poverty and 1.4 million out of extreme poverty," she said.

The event was attended by various ambassadors and diplomats from Latin American and other countries.

On a question about the indigenous population of Colombia, the minister said, "They constitute about three per cent of the population."

She also emphasised that tourism was a big factor and the country was keen on leveraging it for its growth.

Holguin leaves India on Thursday.
PTI
Tags: #Economy
first published: Nov 7, 2017 08:00 pm

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