Volume 44, Number 174,
July-September 2013
Colombia: Commercial Integration
and Trade Imbalances in the Pacific Basin
Jaime Torres

Figure 6. Clothing and Textiles: Import/Export Rate from Colombia to the Pacific Basin,

Source: http://dane.gov.co/index.php?option=com:content&view=article&id=76<emid=56, consulted July 9, 2012.

Figure 7 demonstrates that the employment rate in the clothing sector is clearly falling, while rising for imports. The drastic decrease in exports to Venezuela and Ecuador,4 due to political problems at the beginning of 2008,5 further undermined major markets. It is of note that the textile and clothing industries have generated the most employment for Colombian industry, contributing 20% of total jobs over the past years (160,000 direct jobs and 750,00 indirect).6 Textiles and clothing coming from China are therefore strongly competitive against these local market sectors, and they are shifting them to different markets in neighboring countries. The nation’s competitiveness is further undermined by political errors as well as the constant re-evaluation of the exchange rate since 2004 (Alonso, et al., 2008).7

Figure 7. Clothing Industry Import/Export Rate and Employment Variation.

Source: http://dane.gov.co/index.php?option=com:content&view=article&id=76<emid=56, consulted July 9, 2012.

4 The share of non-traditional Colombian exports (of high added value) in trade with Venezuela and Ecuador was 40% of the total in 2007, 12: http://www.banrep.gov.co/docum/ftp/borra514.pdf, consulted on July 12, 2012.

5 There was a diplomatic conflict resulting from a Colombian armed forces attack on guerrillas in Ecuadorian territory, which led to a strong reaction from Ecuador and Venezuela.

6 Source: andi, National Industrial Association. http://www.andi.com.co/pages/comun/infogeneral.aspx?Id=26&Tipo=2, consulted on July 13, 2012.

7 The Colombian peso re-evaluation has continued through March 2013.

Published in Mexico, 2012-2017 © D.R. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
PROBLEMAS DEL DESARROLLO. REVISTA LATINOAMERICANA DE ECONOMÍA, Volume 49, Number 193, April-June 2018 is a quarterly publication by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México, D.F. by Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, Circuito Mario de la Cueva, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán,
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The online journal Problemas del Desarrollo. Revista Latinoamericana de Economía corresponds to the printed edition of the same title with ISSN 0301-7036