The InterContinental Shanghai Pudong Hotel in Shanghai, China will become a hub for business during ProColombia’s most important export promotion activity abroad.
ProColombia’s International Macro Business Matchmaking Forum will take place on November 12–15, with nearly 100 Colombian export companies and 100 international buyers.
“This meeting is part of the strategy for leveraging strategic markets and promoting Colombian companies’ exportable products within the context of the Colombia Exporta program. The aim is to create business interactions between Colombia and Asia, a market with 4.7 billion consumers—more than 60% of the world’s population. It’s worth highlighting that of all Colombian participants, approximately 45 companies are taking their initial steps to internationalize, showing our interest in expanding the Colombian exporting business network,” stated Flavia Santoro, ProColombia president.
The event will have the support of the Colombian Embassy in China, the Bogotá Mayor’s Office, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
The foreign companies hail from 13 countries—primarily China, Canada, South Korea, Vietnam, and Singapore, which represent nearly 70% of the total buyers.
Most of the businesses are agri-food chains, or belong to the apparel sector, and are looking to buy goods such as coffee and its by-products; fresh fruit (bananas, avocados, and exotic fruits); processed fruit (pulp); cocoa and its derivatives; leather; and high added-value designer products.
Some of the companies that will be attending the event are Kaola—a Chinese e-commerce company that specializes in selling imports in China, and which was acquired by Alibaba in early September this year—and Indonesia’s Kawan Lama Retail Group, which boasts more than 300 stores in 31 of the country’s provinces. This company is part of the Kawan Lama Group, which distributes over 100 world-class brands with a portfolio of over 40,000 products. South Korea—the only Asian country with an FTA with Colombia—will be represented by Dole Korea, one of the largest sellers of fresh and processed fruit, and Eland Eats, a cafe and restaurant operator with more than 1,300 employees.
Colombian exporters hail from 17 of the country’s departments, led by Cundinamarca, Antioquia, Risaralda, Valle del Cauca, and Santander, which represent 76% of the total businesses.
Aside from agribusinesses and apparel companies, there will also be Colombian companies from the 4.0 industry, including software companies, creative and digital businesses, and digital animation and audiovisual companies. Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector will participate with furniture, timber, and machinery.
Some of the major exporting companies include Luker, Dulces La Americana, Agua Bendita, Bamboleira, the international distributor of PorkColombia, Aldor, Ricardo Pava, and Cueros Vélez.
On November 12th, Colombian entrepreneurs will go on field visits to Chinese agri-food and apparel businesses, as well as 4.0 industries and manufacturing companies. On November 13th, there will be an academic agenda, with seminars on e-commerce, Asia-Colombia logistics, business creation, and business registration in China, as well as leveraging the Chinese market.
The Macro Business Matchmaking Forum will begin on the afternoon of November 13th, and it will end on November 14th. On November 15th, the final day of the promotion activity, Colombian exporters will have the opportunity to go on other field visits to Chinese businesses.
President Ivan Duque’s July 2018 visit to China resulted in Colombia establishing several key trade agreements. For example, the Colombian banana industry signed an agreement to sell 4 million banana crates, equivalent to US $40 million in economic value.
Additionally, a protocol for the export of the Hass avocado to China was signed with the Chinese government. Finally, progress was made in matters of e-commerce, in terms of best practices, but also regarding the use of Chinese e-commerce platforms to offer Colombian products.
Furthermore, ProColombia created the “Iniciativa China”—which arose as a set of strategies proposed by each of the agency’s departments—outlining a series of medium and long-term goals aimed at turning China into the strategic partner that Colombia is seeking. It is important to note that this goal will be achieved through an increase in exports in the non-mining and non-energy sectors (aside from waste), foreign direct investment, and tourism.