After the inauguration of Gustavo Petro as the new President of Colombia, and the rapprochements he has shown with Nicolás Maduro’s regime, businessmen and customs officers from the Táchira border regions hope the resumption of political, economic, and diplomatic relations will take place as soon as possible.
By La Patilla – Luz Dary Depablos
Aug 9, 2022
The appointment of Germán Umaña, as the new Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism in Colombia, has been welcomed by businessmen on both sides of the border, since Mr. Umaña has been present at the work tables as director of the Colombian-Venezuelan Chamber, for the formal steps to reactivate international border trade between Táchira State and the Norte de Santander Department.
Nelson Ureña, President of the Civil Association of Customs Auxiliaries of Táchira State (Asoata), stated that reopening the border completely, “is not like closing it, the reopening has to (done) be in a very controlled way, you have to look at the security regulations.”
“The border will never be the same again,” said the president of Asoata, given the incalculable losses left by the total and partial closure of the three Táchira international bridges for seven years, however, he assured that “we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel”.
“Many people think that by giving the commercial opening the next day there will be a queue of trucks (heavy cargo transport) and it is not like that,” said Ureña.
“We have to win back those clients who left (to trade) through Paraguachón and by sea, bring them with a good offer of services, equity in prices and make them understand the savings they will have by using these border crossings,” he pointed out.
He explained that the San Antonio Agreement, signed on September 3rd, 2021, must be further complied with, as only part of what was proposed has been fulfilled, with only the passage of cargo left to reinstate. This could immediately generate some 700 jobs, and in less than six months could exceed 14 thousand new direct jobs.
There is still no date on which relations between the two nations could be reactivated, only some Chavismo announcements are known in which they have mentioned that commercial operations could be slow, for which Nelson Ureña asked “not to extend this too long, because the need is urgent.”
Read More: La Patilla – Productive and customs sectors of the Táchira border, awaiting announcements from the Colombian government