Rotorua-based list MP Fletcher Tabuteau represented the Government at the formal opening of the New Zealand Embassy in Bogota, Colombia last night.
"The opening of a New Zealand Embassy in Bogota is a significant step in strengthening New Zealand's relations with Latin American countries," Tabuteau said.
Tabuteau, who is also the deputy leader of NZ First and undersecretary for foreign affairs, said: "New Zealand businesses are already investing in dairy development and water catchment management projects and are moving into the agribusiness, food processing, retail, construction, aviation, and health sectors".
"It is very humbling to also see important humanitarian work being undertaken in Colombia, allowing families and small communities back into affected areas."
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and other forces waged a civil war against the government of Colombia beginning in 1964.
Hostilities ceased in September 2016, and a final peace agreement was signed in November that year. Colombia is still transitioning to peace.
"New Zealand has contributed $1 million to humanitarian demining efforts in Colombia and is working with The Halo Trust to use New Zealand-developed technology to safely dispose of mines," Tabuteau said.
"This builds on the support New Zealand gave towards the 2016 peace agreement between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and was instrumental in gaining endorsement by the international community during our time on the UN Security Council."
He said he was particularly pleased to see increasing education links between New Zealand and Colombia.
"Colombia is a priority market for Education New Zealand, which is supporting schools and universities to build links with Colombian counterparts.
"Young New Zealanders are increasingly interested in Colombia and a large number of the most-recent Prime Minister's Scholarships for Latin America were awarded to New Zealand students bound for Colombia."
While in Colombia, Tabuteau has also held meetings with Vice Foreign Minister Patti Londono and Foreign Minister Holguin.
"Patti Londono is a great friend of New Zealand. She is an insightful guide to Colombia's post-conflict development, and is enthusiastic about the opportunities for New Zealand and New Zealanders in her country."