Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro met in Cartagena on Friday, to address security and economic issues in the border region.
A bilateral meeting on economic issues between colombia and Venezuela is taking place at the Hilton Hotel in Cartegena. The Presidents have initiated talks between ministers and delegations from both countries.
On the top of the agenda is the issue of how to combat the smuggling of goods. Both governments have recognized the damage this is creating in both economies.
Subsidized produce and gasoline in Venezuela are smuggled and sold in Colombia for higher prices. Officials say this is contributing to shortage and scarcity of goods across Venezuela. And for Colombia, this means thousands of dollars of unpaid taxes on imports that are coming into the country. This has been an ongoing problem that both governments have actively tried to stop but without success. Some analysts say that the main source of the problem is the vast amount of corruption.
This is the second meeting the countries have had in one month on this topic -they met last month in Brazil during the BRICS summit. There they agreed to hold additional bilateral meetings in the future. We’ll have an update later today. CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reports.