October 18th, 2011
07:57 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) – Colombia’s free trade agreement with the U.S. creates opportunities for Chinese businesses getting squeezed out of the North American market by the ongoing trade disputes between the world’s two largest economies.

For China, this is the opportunity to get goods relabeled as Colombian and enter the U.S. with zero tariffs. And as businessmen think about the new possibilities, many are rushing to rewrite business plans.

“The Chinese have their eyes on Colombia because it is the bridge they need to reach the U.S.,” José Antonio Mutis, Colombian Consul General in Hong Kong, told CNN.

There are still few details on how a final product can be considered South American. For now, officials only have a rough idea.

“With around 35 to 40% of the value of a product added in Colombia, it may be considered Colombian and enter the U.S. tax free,” an official at the trade office of the Colombian Embassy in China told CNN.

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