Colombian and Venezuelan business owners meet after seven years of a closed border
More than 200 met in the Colombian city of Cúcuta amid the process of rapprochement between the two countries.
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In a major meeting of more than 200 businessmen from Colombia and Venezuela, both sides will seek to strengthen their relationship after a strict border ordinance disallowed them to exchange goods.
The meeting, held in Cúcuta, was also attended by 32 mayors of the capitals of Colombia.
It was possible thanks to the organizers, which include Fedecámaras Táchira, Comité Intergremial de Norte de Santander, the Cámara Colombo Venezolana and the Cámara de Integración Económica Venezolano Colombiana (Cavecol).
The event was held at the Casino Internacional Hotel from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 11. It will also be attended by the current Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Germán Umaña.
The minister highlighted from the ANDI congress, which took place in the city of Cartagena, the significance that the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between both territories would bring.
"If the border is opened, if the issues between Norte de Santander and the State of Táchira are solved, if goods continue to pass between Paraguachón and La Guajira, and if the maritime transport conditions improve, we will have a bilateral trade this year, not of $600 million as projected, but we will have a trade of $1,200 million pesos", said Umaña.
He highlighted that with the reopening this would bring progress and stability to both countries.
"In two years with the recovery of certain productive sectors in Venezuela, such as petrochemicals, steel, aluminum and the automotive sector, we will have a much better complementarity. Now with this new government we are resuming international trade and we are talking about 4,500 million dollars in total exports and imports", said the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.
On the other hand, Carlos Luna, president of the Inter-industry Association of Norte de Santander, also said that the union expects Gustavo Petro and Nicolás Maduro to hold a meeting at the border.