The president of Colombia, Iván Duque, landed this Sunday in Israel for a two-day visit, focused on economics and innovation in order to cement the free trade agreement (FTA) that came into force between the two countries last year.
“We started #VisitaAIsrael, a country with which we have historical relationships. We arrived to materialize specific agreements derived from the FTA and attract investment in technology, science, health and innovation, consolidating ourselves as its main ally in Latin America “Duque wrote upon arrival on his Twitter account.
We started #VisitAIsrael, country with which we have historical relations. We arrived to materialize specific agreements derived from the FTA and attract investment in technology, science, health and innovation, consolidating ourselves as your main ally in Latin America. pic.twitter.com/gHvwin8ZWr
– Iván Duque 🇨🇴 (@IvanDuque) November 7, 2021
It is the second official visit of a Colombian president to Israel and the first by Duque, who arrives accompanied by six ministers -Defense, Health, Agriculture, Commerce, Environment and Transportation– and in delegation, eminently economic, of 95 people.
The visit will culminate next Tuesday with the inauguration of a trade and innovation office in Jerusalem, linked to its embassy in Tel Aviv.
In August 2020, in the midst of a pandemic and by videoconference, Duque ratified with former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the FTA treaty that allows the export to Israel of 7,000 Colombian products without tariffs and 99% of industrial material free of tariffs.
With close business relationships, Colombian exports to Israel amounted to 408 million dollars annually in the period 2010-2019 and the FTA is expected to increase investment flows between the two countries.
This is the first agreement of its kind that Colombia has signed with a Middle Eastern country.
Duque already advanced last year the inauguration of the trade and innovation office in Jerusalem, which He will lead the Colombian Innovation agency (INNpulsa) and will be connected with the commercial attaché of the embassy.
The visit will include round tables, and business meetings in search of business opportunities, led by the different ministers of the Colombian Cabinet, as well as meetings with Israeli counterparts.
The President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, will receive Duque tomorrow Monday in the first act of his official agenda and then he will hold a meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Benet.
A commercial event is planned for Tuesday with the inauguration of the innovation office.
This Sunday, The Colombian president will privately visit the Old City of the occupied east of Jerusalem, which includes the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher and the Western Wall, the main Jewish place of worship.