Colombia: TLC And Trade In Services And Financial Services: A Growing Market - Open And Competitive (In Spanish)

Last Updated: 29 March 2012

Originally published in Colombian finance newspaper La República

TLC Y El Comercio De Servicios Y De Servicios Financieros: Un Mercado Cada Vez Más Abierto Y Competido

En esta tercera entrega de la serie de Brigard & Urrutia Abogados sobre el TLC Colombia – EE.UU., presentamos los aspectos más significativos de los capítulos de servicios y de servicios financieros del Tratado. El comercio de servicios entre EE.UU. y Colombia es un mercado con gran potencial, y las oportunidades que se generan en virtud de los nuevos estándares establecidos en el Tratado no deben ser desaprovechadas.

Ámbito de Aplicación: El acuerdo de comercio transfronterizo de servicios no excluye los servicios de consultoría, gestión de proyectos o intermediación. El espectro de servicios que están cobijados por las reglas y los beneficios establecidos en el TLC es entonces sumamente amplio.

Trato Nacional: Este es uno de los beneficios más significativos del capítulo de servicios del TLC, teniendo en cuenta que la obligación de trato nacional en materia de servicios no está consagrada en el Acuerdo General sobre Comercio de Servicios de la OMC (AGCS o GATS por su sigla en inglés). Las partes del TLC se obligaron a otorgarles a los proveedores de servicios de la otra parte un trato no menos favorable que el que cada parte le otorgue en circunstancias similares a sus proveedores de servicios.

Acceso a mercados – En relación con la prestación de servicios no se podrán establecer limitaciones a:

  • Número de proveedores;
  • Valor total de las transacciones o activos;
  • Número total de operaciones o cantidad total de producción;
  • Número total de personas naturales que pueden ser empleadas en un determinado sector;
  • Los tipos específicos de persona jurídica o de empresa conjunta por medio de los cuales un proveedor pueda prestar un servicio.

Establecimiento: Por regla general, no se podrá exigir presencia o establecimiento en el país para el suministro transfronterizo de servicios.

Transferencias y Pagos: Todas las transferencias relacionadas con el suministro transfronterizo de servicios serán libres y podrán hacerse en moneda de libre circulación al tipo de cambio vigente en el mercado al momento de la transferencia o pago.

Por su lado, el capítulo de servicios financieros del TLC es específico y autónomo. Cuando algunos aspectos de otros capítulos del TLC se aplican a los servicios financieros, se hace referencia concreta a dichos apartes en el capítulo de servicios financieros. Estos son sus aspectos más destacados:

Establecimiento de instituciones financieras: Colombia accedió a permitir el establecimiento de sucursales de bancos estadounidenses y compañías de seguros en su territorio. Este compromiso no se aplica a otros tipos de instituciones financieras y será efectivo una vez transcurran cuatro años desde la entrada en vigor del TLC. Colombia se reservó el derecho a determinar las circunstancias bajo las cuales podrán establecerse sucursales en el país, sin embargo esta potestad no puede limitar injustificadamente el acceso al mercado.

Seguros: Bajo el TLC los residentes en Colombia podrán comprar pólizas de seguros de compañías de seguros estadounidenses. Asimismo, el TLC brinda la posibilidad para estas compañías de ofrecer directamente sus pólizas, luego de cuatro años de su entrada en vigor. El compromiso para permitir la adquisición de pólizas emitidas en el exterior se realiza sobre la base de una "lista negativa", lo que significa que se permitirá el consumo de todas las pólizas internacionales de seguro excepto aquellas que estén excluidas explícitamente.

Carteras Colectivas: Una vez el TLC entre en vigor, se permitirá a los administradores de carteras colectivas establecidos en los territorios de ambos países contratar a otras instituciones financieras de diversos servicios. De acuerdo con lo anterior, EE.UU. y Colombia permitirán a instituciones financieras organizadas fuera de sus territorios (pero localizadas en uno de los dos países) prestar servicios de administración y asesoramiento de inversión a las carteras colectivas situadas en sus territorios. Colombia también se comprometió a proferir normas que permitan la subcontratación en favor de empresas estadounidenses.

Con base en estas reglas y en las características de los dos países, se vislumbran importantes oportunidades en mercados tales como la administración de carteras colectivas, la prestación transfronteriza de servicios de consultoría, de servicios de gerencia de proyectos, de infraestructura y de operaciones logísticas.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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