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The Andean Development Corporation (CAF) and Colombia have signed an agreement for a non-reimbursable technical cooperation grant for consulting services on the design and start-up of a methodology for presentation and appraisal of projects for the Trade Capacity Building Group of the Andean-United States FTA.

Enrique Garc­a, the CAF president, says the decisive support that CAF had been providing to the countries now negotiating the FTA would continue. “Although the FTA is not a substitute for a development strategy or international participation, well-managed, it can be a powerful instrument for improving the conditions of competitiveness and the business environment in which economic, commercial and foreign trade activity takes place, which is perfectly aligned with CAF’s purpose,” he adds.

The Colombian ministry of trade, industry and tourism requested CAF to provide 80% of the funds required to obtain consulting on the design, formation and implementation of a specific methodological and procedural scheme to permit projects to operate through the Trade Capacity Building Group and the Cooperation Committee. The advice will help prioritise and improve technical and transparent feasibility so that the financed projects have a real impact on the implementation of the FTA and on the development of the internal agenda.

In its process of cooperation with governments in relation to the ongoing negotiations for the signing of the FTA, CAF jointly organised with the Economic Commission for Latin America (Eclac/Cepal), the seminar “Implementation and Administration of Free Trade Agreements: Challenges for Government and Business Groups “during the 12th negotiating round of the FTA between Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, and the US.

The event, held on September 22 in Cartagena, Colombia, took place in the framework of the “adjacent room “sessions which accompanied the negotiations. The seminar for business leaders and members of Congress from Colombia, Ecuador and Peru was a contribution by CAF and Eclac to the debate on moving ahead with consensus building on public policies and the instruments that enhance the benefits of the FTA.