Summit Features Remarks by High-Level Government Officials and CEOs Focused on Increasing U.S.-Colombia Commercial Collaboration and Trade
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 1, 2020
Office of Communications (202) 565-3204
WASHINGTON – Yesterday His Excellency Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia, and Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed addressed private-sector business leaders and government officials of both countries in the virtual U.S.-Colombia Business Summit co-hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Business Association of Colombia. The purpose of the summit was to discuss areas for greater economic cooperation that support economic reactivation plans and incorporate private-sector perspectives in official bilateral economic partnerships.
President Duque gave an opening address in the public plenary session. Following his remarks, EXIM Chairman Reed spoke about the strength of U.S.-Colombia relations, opportunities for increasing trade between the United States and Colombia, and the role that the fully restored EXIM can perform in expanding U.S. exports to Colombia.
“I want to thank His Excellency, President Duque, and I appreciate the value that the Colombian people place in the friendship between the United States and one of the longest-standing democracies on the South American continent,” said EXIM Chairman Kimberly Reed. “President Duque has recognized President Trump’s América Crece, also known as Growth in the Americas Initiative, and the U.S.-Colombia Growth Initiative as ‘a new chapter in our bilateral relationship.’ EXIM has extensive experience partnering with U.S. companies in Latin America, including in Colombia, and we look forward to continuing and increasing that work, especially as China becomes a greater competitive threat.”
Chairman Reed noted that the U.S.-Colombia Growth Initiative will focus on economic and rural development, including roads, land development, the rule of law, infrastructure improvement, and strategic communications. EXIM has supported U.S. exports to the energy sector of the Colombian economy and looks forward to supporting the U.S.-Colombia trade relationship going forward.
Other U.S. officials participating in the event were U.S. Secretary of Commerce and EXIM ex officio Board Member Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., and U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Philip Goldberg. Participating Colombian government officials were Colombia Ambassador to the United States Francisco Santos; the Honorable José Manuel Restrepo, Minister of Trade, Industry and Commerce of the Republic of Colombia; and ProColombia President Flavia Santoro.
Myron Brilliant, U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs, welcomed Chairman Reed to the summit, noting the importance of the tools EXIM deploys to promote inclusive growth as the global economy rebounds from the effects of COVID-19.
“As the U.S.-Colombia Business Council looks for ways to contribute to economic recovery here in the United States and in Colombia, the tools that EXIM brings to the table are critical to facilitate trade and increase our commercial ties in one of our strongest partnerships in the Americas. Chairman Reed is a great champion for the power of American business and the value of supporting the U.S.-Colombia trade relationship,” Brilliant said.
The summit began with a closed regular meeting of the U.S.-Colombia Business Council (USCBC) and a private plenary session of CEOs and senior business executives representing diverse industries and companies who discussed the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on U.S.-Colombia trade and investment.
The event came one day after Chairman Reed addressed 55 American Chambers of Commerce around the world to underscore how U.S. companies of all sizes can use EXIM’s financing tools and resources to increase their international sales, showcase their “Made in the USA” products, and sustain American jobs.
Chairman Reed’s full remarks to the U.S.-Colombia Business Summit are available online here.
EXIM is an independent federal agency that promotes and supports American jobs by providing competitive and necessary export credit to support sales of U.S. goods and services to international buyers. A robust EXIM can level the global playing field for U.S. exporters when they compete against foreign companies that receive support from their governments. EXIM also contributes to U.S. economic growth by helping to create and sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. In recent years, approximately 90 percent of the total number of the agency’s authorizations has directly supported small businesses. Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt.
For more information about EXIM, please visit www.exim.gov.