The French ambassador to Colombia Jean-Marc Laforet
Bogota - XINHUA
Colombia and France signed an investment accord Thursday to boost bilateral exchange.
The Agreement on Reciprocal Protection and Promotion of Investment (known by its Spanish acronym APPRI) was signed by Colombia's Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism Santiago Rojas and the French ambassador to Colombia Jean-Marc Laforet.
"The agreement, the negotiation of which concluded in November 2013 following two rounds of talks, one in Paris and another in Bogota, establishes clear rules of the game for French investors in Colombia and vice versa," according to a statement from the Colombian Trade Ministry.
The agreement will also provide "protection, clarity and a transparent legal framework for handling any capital established in each of the countries," the ministry added.
The document prohibits discrimination against investors from either nation, bars expropriation "without proper and effective compensation," and calls for the "freedom to transfer currencies, so investors can remit their profits."
Rojas said the accord, which "is complemented by the trade agreement Colombia has with the European Union," would serve to promote trade between the two nations, and help create employment in both Colombia and France.
"France is a country that has believed in Colombia and has invested in different sectors, such as industry, trade and finance, " said Rojas.
France's ambassador, in turn, said the accord will serve as an incentive for French firms to invest in the South American country.
The accord now needs to be approved by each country's respective legislature, and in Colombia's case, also by the Constitutional Court.
The accord will take effect as soon as both countries notify its approval and will remain in effect for a period of 10 years, the ministry said.