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Title: Growing and Sustaining the Canada-Columbia Free Trade Agreement and Canadian Foreign Direct Investment in Columbia
Other Titles: An Evaluation of the Perceived Risks and Opportunities
Authors: Schmitt, Laura
Issue Date: Sep-2012
Citation: Schmitt, Laura. (2012). Growing and Sustaining the Canada-Columbia Free Trade Agreement and Canadian Foreign Direct Investment in Columbia ( Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
Abstract: number of Canadian companies have been investing and operating in Colombia for the past couple of decades despite the region's tumultuous and violent history. More recently, the Colombian government, under the leadership of Presidents Alvaro Uribe and Juan Manuel Santos, have taken great strides to improve the overall security situation and liberalize the country's economic policies. The Harper government took note of these improvements and now views Colombia as a politically and economically stable emerging market in Latin America. After much debate and controversy the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement was brought in to force on August 15, 2011. A number of factions took sides in support of or in opposition to the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement in response to the sociopolitical, environmental and economic risks and opportunities that the agreement and increased Canadian Foreign Direct Investment in Colombia pose for both parties. In an attempt to mitigate some of these risks, both countries have set out specific ancillary agreements that deal with environmental, labour and human rights standards, which were brought in to force along with the Free Trade Agreement. Unfortunately, many vulnerable Colombian citizens, specific Canadian and Colombian industries, and the Colombian environment are still exposed to great risk as the ancillary agreements do little to specify how the intent of the agreements will be implemented. This paper argues that a policy option moving forward is the establishment of an overarching institution which would involve voluntary membership from key Canadian companies operating in Colombia, Canadian and Colombian government representatives, and progressive NGOs that specialize in environmental, human rights and labour issues. To ensure comprehensiveness and accountability the institutional framework of the organization could be based on the International Finance Corporation's eight Performance Standards, which include: Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and Impacts; Labor and Working Conditions; Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention; Community Health, Safety, and Security; Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement; Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources; Indigenous Peoples; and Cultural Heritage. With this risk management framework in place much of the success and sustainability of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement and continued Canada Foreign Direct Investment in Colombia could be ensured. A highly successful Canadian engagement model in Colombia would bolster international reputation, creating opportunity for further trade in Latin American countries.
Appears in Collections:Master of Public Policy Capstone Projects

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