SALT LAKE CITY — A business trade mission from the Mountain West region will visit Colombia and Panama Feb. 10-14.

It is the first coordinated group from the area to explore business opportunities in Colombia since the implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement in May 2012. The mission is supported by Zions Bank and FedEx in partnership with the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service and World Trade Center Utah.

Participants include representatives from manufacturing, safety and security, telecommunications, logistics, building and consumer products, education, finance and legal services. The group will conduct business development meetings with potential agents, distributors, buyers and joint-venture partners.

“The Mountain West region is one of the fastest-growing economic areas in the United States and has seen exponential export growth over the past decade,” said Mark Garfield, International Banking regional manager for Zions Bank. “We look forward to exploring opportunities to increase business with the impact of reduced tariffs and related barriers.”

The U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service’s office in Utah hopes area companies will increasingly target global markets in their growth strategies. The service connects U.S. companies with international buyers through export counseling and a variety of export services

The U.S. Embassy in Bogota will host a business reception for the delegation as well as business and community leaders. In 2011, during a visit to Salt Lake City, former President Alvaro Uribe officially invited Utah companies to visit Colombia and work to expand their markets together in light of the pending approval of the free trade agreement.