The International Trading Center (ITC) in Miami has revved up its efforts to educate business owners about the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which went into effect on May 15.
The ITC has primarily focused efforts on bringing small and medium-size businesses together in the international trade arena to create a network of industry resources between Latin America and the U.S. Toward that end, it has scheduled trade missions and academic seminars in Colombia to inform business owners of the FTA, its regulations and resources, and how to begin implementing it.
With the passing of the FTA, over 80 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products to Colombia have become duty-free immediately, with remaining tariffs phased out over 10 years.
The FTA will help the U.S. regain market share on many major exports such as consumer electronics, medical supplies, aircraft parts and car parts, according to a release.
It will also help Colombia advance into the next age of manufacturing industries. Colombia's prime geographic location between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans will be a large factor in increased trade flows globally.
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ITC will visit 16 cities in Colombia to promote the FTA, its services, and varied business and immigration opportunities.
In its first year of business, ITC received support from many South Florida businesses through participation in business expos, trade shows, and alliances with local and foreign chambers of commerce, as well as through traditional networking.
Headquartered in the Miami Free Zone, ITC provides business solutions for Colombian companies seeking to establish themselves in the U.S. Through its partnerships, ITC is able to provide its clients with business consulting, office suites, warehousing and logistics services, exhibition space, legal services, customized market research, and one-to-one business appointments with potential clients, among other services.
"We provide a necessary service that no one has had the vision to put together for Colombia," said Clarence Bird, general manager. "Each client has specific needs. Our goal is to tailor services to meet those needs," he added.
The Miami Free Zone (MFZ), branded as the Trade Hub to the Americas, offers premium office, showroom, and warehouse spaces in a secured and engaged business atmosphere. The facility processes inbound and outbound international transactions in excess of $1 billion a year.
As a federally approved Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ #32), MFZ provides its users flexible control over domestic and foreign inventory, alongside significant duty and tax savings, lessened regulatory requirements, and exemption from paying U.S. Customs duties on re-exported goods.
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