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Colombia

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Colombia country brief - Bilateral Fact Sheet

Expanding relations, based on people, talent, business and shared international interests.

Key engagement

A large and growing source of international students in Australia, we share common interests in the rules and institutions that help promote growth and security.

Outlook

Export and investment opportunities exist for Australian business, particularly in mining, energy, infrastructure, education, health and agriculture.

Bilateral relations

Australia and Colombia established diplomatic relations in 1976. Australia opened its Embassy in Bogotá in June 2017.

Colombia has an embassy in Canberra, a Consulate-General in New South Wales, and Honorary Consuls in Western Australia, Queensland, and the Northern Territory.

Foreign relations

Australia and Colombia are members of IMF, World Bank, Cairns Group, OECD, World Trade Organisation (WTO), United Nations (UN), and UN organisations. In 2018 Colombia acceded to NATO alongside Australia.

Australia and Colombia work together in a range of international fora, including the UN, the WTO and the OECD, which Colombia joined in 2018. Both countries cooperate on a range of international issues, including trade and investment, agricultural development, anti-corruption and transnational crime.

Colombia is a founding member of the Pacific Alliance and the Forum for East-Asia Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) and is seeking APEC membership.

Colombia is also a member of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Association of Caribbean States (ACS) and the Organisation of American States (OAS).

Australia's foreign policy is guided by the Foreign Policy White Paper.

Fast facts

Colombian short-term visitors to Australia (2020 Dept of Home Affairs)
5,900
Australian visitors to Colombia (primary destination (2020 Dept of Home Affairs)
4,800
Resident Australian population born in Colombia (2016 Census)
18,996
Australian residents of Colombian descent (2016 Census)
17,984
Colombian students in Australia (2020 Dept of Education)
18,898

High level engagement

  • 2021 October – Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment met Vice President and Minister for Foreign Affairs Ramirez (Paris, OECD MCM side-meeting).
  • 2021 January – Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke with President Ivan Duque Marquez (virtual).
  • 2020 December – Australia’s candidate for OECD Secretary General, Mathias Cormann visited Bogota and Cartagena.
  • 2018 August - Australia’s Inspector-General of Taxation visited Bogotá
  • 2017 October –Minister of Justice Keenen visited Bogota.
  • 2017 June – Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo visited Cali.
  • 2017 June – Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop opened the Australian Embassy in Bogotá.
  • 2016 August –Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo visited Bogota.

Agreements with Colombia

  • 2021 – MoU on Bilateral Cooperation in the Hydrocarbons Industry
  • 2021 - MoU on Cooperation in Preventing and Combatting Transnational Crime
  • 2019 – Air Services Agreement
  • 2016 – MoU on Bilateral Cooperation in the Hydrocarbons Industry
  • 2014 – MoU on Bilateral Cooperation in the Mining Industry
  • 2009 – MoU on Strengthening Bilateral Trade and Investment

Public diplomacy

In 2021, the Australian Government launched the ‘Australian Industry Innovations’ webinar series, in association with key Colombian industry groups. This brings Australian technology and expertise to a Colombian audience, to address issues identified by local industries. The series promotes closer collaboration between Australia and Colombia on sustainability, technology, research, best practice, the environment and the reduction of greenhouse gases in the mining, energy and agriculture sectors.

Since 2017, the Australian Government has provided financial support through the Direct Aid Program to 14 projects, reaching almost 4,000 people throughout Colombia. Projects have focussed on rural and agricultural development, environmental protection, gender equality, community health, humanitarian aid and education.

In 2020-21, the Council on Australia-Latin America Relations (COALAR) provided  grants to collaborate with people and institutions in Colombia.

Economic diplomacy

Colombia is the fourth largest economy in Latin America. From 2000, it enjoyed uninterrupted economic growth until the COVID-19 pandemic caused a contraction in 2020. Growth is rebounding. Colombia is a member of the OECD and boasts good macroeconomic fundamentals and a proactive approach to economic liberalisation.  

Improvements to Colombia's security environment are opening up new opportunities for economic development, particularly in the renewable energy, mining, agriculture, health, education, infrastructure and extractives sectors.

In 2021, the Australian Government is supporting a series of projects featuring Australian low emissions technology. Australian experts will support implementation of a renewable energy microgrid, part of the reconstruction of the hurricane-impacted island of Providencia.

CSIRO Chile partnerships with industry and the Colombian Government demonstrates Australian expertise in green and blue hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage. CSIRO Chile will also partner with the Colombian ocean research institute INVEMAR to build local capability to measure Blue Carbon captured in coastal ecosystems.

Australia will also run a series of workshops led by Australian Indigenous business leaders to demonstrate the value and possibilities for indigenous entrepreneurship.

Australia is currently negotiating its first FTA with Colombia through the Pacific Alliance regional trading bloc (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru).

Further economic and trade information can be found in our Colombia trade/economic fact sheet [PDF].

Business

Austrade aims to attract foreign direct investment into Australia. It also identifies market opportunities and promotes the capabilities of Australian exporters and education providers.

Education is Australia's most recognised export to Colombia. Activity in the mining, equipment, technology, and services (METS) sector is also strong and there is growth in health and new energy technology and services. Australian investment in Colombia has focused on the mining and infrastructure sectors.

There are 86 Australian businesses with a presence in Colombia, of which 48 have opened an office in-country and 15 are ASX listed.

Austrade

Austrade offices

Travel

See Smartraveller for information on travelling to Colombia.

Australian Embassy in Colombia

Edificio Tierra Firme, Avenida Carrera 9 No. 115-06/30
Oficina 2002, Bogotá, Colombia
Tel: +57 1 6578030

General: Bogota.embassy@dfat.gov.au
Title: Facebook - Description: logo Embajada de Australia en Colombia y Venezuela
Title: Twitter - Description: logo @AusEmbCO

 

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