During the last International Business Matchmaking Forum, an event organized in Houston by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism of Colombia and ProColombia —the country’s promotion agency— business appointments were made between 215 Colombian companies, of which 76% (164 companies) were MSMEs, and 118 international buyers from 15 countries, with the Americans being the true protagonists.
HOUSTON, Nov. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — ProColombia’s business forum, held on-site in Houston, Texas, on November 9th and 10th, and complemented by a virtual program of business appointments the following days, has ended, leaving opportunities for both buyers and exporters of over $6.2 million in immediate sales, in sectors such as agri-business, chemicals and life sciences, manufacturing industries, textiles and apparel, and BPO, software & IT services. There is a total expectation of $67 million that alongside the immediate sales will generate a grand total of $73.4 million, making the business forum a success.
From innovative products such as dried fruits, frozen snacks, collagen drinks, and lollipops made with natural pulp, to apparel, underwear, shapewear, furniture, auto parts, packaging products, and technological services, 215 exporters coming from 17 departments of the country have shown international buyers that Colombia is the perfect ally to supply high-quality products and services promptly.
The sectors with the highest business expectations were agri-business, consumer and industrial goods and BPO, software and IT services. Amongst the 17 participating Colombian departments, Cundinamarca, Valle del Cauca and Antioquia had the higher business expectations. The departments of Boyacá, Cauca and Meta also had outstanding business expectations.
“Colombia has been exporting to the United States for over 50 years, and we have consolidated added-value goods, both for the Americans and our national economy. We have also diversified our exportable offer in all sectors and industries, and these events are the perfect scenario for showcasing our different products and services”, said Carmen Caballero Villa, President of ProColombia.
“This translates into more and better opportunities for small and middle-size companies and allows Colombia to achieve its goals of environmental, economic justice and total peace for our people and our territories. Hence, we invite US and international companies to consider the immense advantages that doing business with Colombian entrepreneurs of all sizes offers both sides,” Caballero added.
The participating Colombian companies Bendito (Riosucio), Forsa (Caloto), Muskox (Valledupar) and Virutex (Caloto) are from PDET municipalities. PDET (Territorially Focused Development Programs) is a special 15-year planning and management instrument that seeks to stabilize and transform the Colombian territories most affected by violence and poverty to achieve rural development. Their participation in the forum represents growth and development opportunities for vulnerable regions of Colombia.
For Colombian exporters such as Javier Gantiva, Founder and CEO of the company Apícola Campo Verde located in Meta, an emergent region of the country, who sells 100% bee natural honey “participating for the first time in the Business Matchmaking Forum allows me to fill my head with possibilities so that our project and our community can overcome multiple challenges. Being here allows me to get new clients we did not have in mind, which can open our way in a market as big as the United States“.
High quality, diversity, closeness to the US market, creativity, sustainability, social impact, and good service are among the words used by American buyers to describe the Colombian offer they could see during the business conference.
Such is the case of David Adalto, Sourcing Manager, in the categories of frozen fruit, dry fruit, canned beans, breakfast items, and cleaning chemicals for H-E-B Grocery. “This has been a great opportunity to meet suppliers with the passion for providing to me what sounds like the best quality product with an open mind and an open heart, looking for a partnership, looking for an opportunity to be in a great retailer like HEB and showcase their items to make Colombians proud of saying: look what we have done, look what we have accomplished,” he said.
On the other hand, Daniel Stein, Supply Chain Manager of the company MSJ packaging, said, “Before this ProColombia expo, we knew very little about the capabilities Colombia has to offer, and we’ve been very impressed by the depth and variety of the suppliers that came to this event. I really do feel that Colombia is the frontier for new discovery as far as products and availability in the western hemisphere”.
If you are interested in learning more about business opportunities in Colombia, please go to: www.procolombia.co.