Colombia is learning the necessity for extra exploration contracts after a report confirmed oil and fuel reserves dropping, in keeping with a senior minister.
The federal government desires to steer a transition away from fossil fuels whereas limiting any unfavorable affect on the economic system, Commerce Minister German Umaña mentioned Thursday in a cellphone interview.
“We’ll definitely take measures to make sure environmental sustainability, but additionally financial sustainability,” Umaña mentioned, talking from Washington the place he was assembly with US officers to debate the development towards rising world protectionism.
Gustavo Petro gained the presidency final 12 months pledging to part out oil and coal. Up to now his administration has refused to subject any new exploration licenses, although a few of his ministers have hinted that this coverage could possibly be modified.
Colombia must have in mind the significance that oil and fuel nonetheless have for the steadiness of funds and the fiscal accounts, Umaña mentioned. Oil and coal represented about half of Colombian exports in 2022.
The federal government additionally wants to contemplate how sectors equivalent to tourism are performing, to gauge how rapidly Colombia can handle the transition, he added.
Interval of Hostility
Commerce with Venezuela is anticipated to rise to $1.2 billion this 12 months from round $700 million in 2022, Umaña mentioned. Enterprise between the 2 neighbors is rising quickly after Petro reestablished diplomatic relations as quickly as he took workplace final 12 months, ending a protracted interval of hostility between Bogota and Caracas.
Venezuela was previously a prime export marketplace for Colombian items, receiving some $6 billion of merchandise in 2008. However bilateral commerce slumped as relations soured. Umaña says commerce might progressively enhance to about $4.2 billion by 2026.
“The most important impediment to the expansion of exports is the demand capability of Venezuela,” he mentioned.
So long as Venezuela’s economic system continues to develop, Colombia might increase exports towards the pharmaceutical, agriculture, auto, in addition to metalworking and metal sectors, that are important for recovering Venezuela’s oil sector, he mentioned.
Colombia wants to guard some sectors in opposition to anti-competitive practices in developed nations, equivalent to manufacturing subsidies, that make it troublesome for Colombian merchandise to compete, Umaña mentioned.
He didn’t say which sectors want safety, although Petro has typically argued for measures to guard Colombian agriculture. In December, the nation imposed a 40% import tariff on clothes to guard its textile business.