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Colombia, Venezuela form $200 million fund to boost trade

Jamaica Gleaner – The presidents of Colombia and Venezuela pledged Saturday to invest US$100 million each in a special fund in hopes of boosting cross-border trade as the world economic crisis slashes global demand for their exports.

The cash will help create small businesses and should finance infrastructure projects along the border, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said after four hours of talks in the Caribbean port of Cartagena with his Colombian counterpart, Alvaro Uribe.

"Nobody knows where this crisis might go," Chávez told a televised news conference.

Trade between the two nations reached a record US$7.2 billion in 2008, and Chávez said they should aim for US$10 billion a year in 2009 and 2010.

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