New Zealand Embassy Santiago, Chile

Relationship between Colombia and New Zealand

Political links

Prime Minister John Key met President Uribe in November 2008, in Lima, Peru. Foreign, agriculture and trade ministers from the two countries have met periodically at meetings of the United Nations, Cairns Group, World Trade Organisation and the Forum for Latin America and East Asia Cooperation. Colombia participated recently in the negotiations to establish a South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation talks. New Zealand and Colombia are cooperating to address greenhouse gas emissions in the agricultural sector through participation in the the Livestock Emissions and Abatement Research Network (LEARN) and as members of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases.

Prime Minister John Key visited Bogota on March 6 2013. It was the first visit of a New Zealand Prime Minister to Colombia. In the meeting with the Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, both leaders issued a Joint Statement with the purpose of establishing strong relationships between both countries. Moreover, during the visit Minister of Primary Industries, Hon Nathan Guy and his Colombian counterpart issued another Joint Statement focused on agricultural cooperation.
You can find the complete Joint Statements at the bottom of this page.

Trade and economic links

Exports to Colombia in 2009 were NZ$9,9 million, up from NZ$7.4 million in 2008, while imports from Colombia have grown from just under NZ$10 million in 2008 to NZ$13.92million in 2009. Bilateral trade is dominated by exports of electronic machinery and imports of coffee.

Education and exchange programmes

Productive working relationships have been developed by the New Zealand Embassy in Chile with the scholarship agencies Colfuturo, Sena and Icetex. All are interested in closer engagement with New Zealand universities and in student mobility in both directions.
The Embassy has also established contacts with individual universities that are interested in engaging with New Zealand counterparts, and has run visa workshops for education agents. New Zealand institutions also visit the market in increasing numbers for annual education fairs.
The number of Colombians choosing to study in New Zealand has steadily increased in the last five years. During 2007/2008 the number of student visas issued almost doubled, from 196 in 2006/2007 to 292 in 2007/2008 and there were 327 Colombians studying in New Zealand in 2008/2009. At the moment, there are three exchange programmes approved by the Ministry of Education, Immigration NZ and Colombia:

  • Christchurch Rudolf Steiner School / Colegio Luis Horacio Gomez, Colombia – current since June 2008 for 5 students per year for a stay up to 12 years
  • Taikura Rudolf Steiner School / Luis Horacio Gomez Waldorf School, Colombia – current since May 2008 for 16 students per year for a stay up to 6 months
  • Victoria University/EAFIT University, Colombia – current since June 2008 for 15 students per year for a max stay of 12 months.

Immigration and Tourism

A small number of Colombians have settled in New Zealand permanently under New Zealand’s United Nations refugee quota since 2007.
There are an increasing number of short term visitor arrivals from Colombia to New Zealand (805 Colombians visited New Zealand in 2009).

Development assistance

New Zealand provides a small fund for discrete development projects in Colombia. This Head of Mission Fund, as it is called, is administered by the New Zealand Embassy in Chile.

File Joint Statement Colombia-New Zealand_March 6 2013.docx
File JOINT STATEMENT - AGRICULTURE_Colombia-New Zealand_2013.docx

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