Petroleum ranks as the principal export of Colombia. Other leading exports include coffee, vegetables, chemicals, coal, textiles, fresh-cut flowers, bananas, sugar, gold, emeralds, and cattle. Illegal drugs also rank high among the country’s exports.
The most important imports are mechanical and electrical equipment, chemicals, food, and metals. Colombia’s annual exports earned $29.7 billion and its imports cost some $33 billion in 2007. The United States is Colombia’s main trading partner, and Venezuela, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Brazil, and Peru also have significant trade with the country.
Colombia is an original member of the Andean Community (1969), an organization that established free trade among its members and works toward regional economic and social cooperation; its members also include Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. Colombia entered into two other trade associations in 1995: the Group of Three and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). The Group of Three, composed of Mexico, Venezuela, and Colombia, aims to phase out trade barriers between these countries. The ACS includes all 25 nations in or along the Caribbean and focuses on regional cooperation and economic integration.
The basic unit of currency is the Colombian peso (2,078 pesos equal U.S.$1; 2007 average).
The Bank of the Republic issues all of the nation’s money and shares responsibility for monetary policy with the government monetary board. More than 25 commercial banking institutions, as well as government development banks and several other official and semiofficial financial institutions, operate in Colombia. Stock exchanges serve Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali. "Colombia" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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