Miami Welcomes Colombia to Commemorate the First Year of the FTA with the U.S.

More than 800 entrepreneurs from the United States and Colombia will meet in Miami for the Business Matchmaking...

More than 800 entrepreneurs from the United States and Colombia will meet in Miami for the Business Matchmaking Forum. Proexport will also hold training seminars, and seminars on tourism promotion and investment.

One year after the Free Trade Agreement between Colombia and the United States went into effect, 855 entrepreneurs from the two countries will meet in Miami for the third Business Matchmaking Forum Proexport has organized to take advantage the benefits of the agreement.

So said Proexport's president, Maria Claudia Lacouture, who also indicated that as well as the Business Matchmaking Forum, this major city of the State of Florida will be the site of training seminars for Colombian entrepreneurs, an exploratory mission, events to promote the country as a tourist destination, and the announcement of investment opportunities. Entrepreneurs from the Caribbean will also participate in the activities.

"Already, 775 companies from 18 departments have exported to the United States for the first time thanks to the FTA. We want this figure to continue to grow and, with this aim, we expect more than four thousand business meetings between agribusiness, manufacturing and services entrepreneurs to be held. The FTA is an open door for businesses that portrays Colombia as a fair, modern and safe country, as much for buyers as for exporters," explained Lacouture.

The conference, which will take place from May 13 to 15 in the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, will include three seminars: one on public procurement, one on investment and one on tourism.

This is the third event of this scale held by Proexport. The first two were held in New York and Los Angeles in 2012.

Day 1

The activities will begin on Monday, May 13 with a seminar on public procurement led by five experts on the topic who will demonstrate the potential that exists for doing business with Miami-Dade County. The County handles around 1,300 contracts with a combined value of around USD 5 billion, and is constantly looking for new providers with whom to negotiate the approximately USD 900 million it earmarks annually for contracts.

The same day, the first exploratory mission activity will take place. This will consist of 75 Colombian companies from the food, confectionery, textiles, footwear, leather and leather goods, and construction materials sectors. They will travel to the United States to get to know the market, its export potential and the adjustments required to be successful in it.

During the three days of the conference, the entrepreneurs will visit their products' distribution channels, such as supermarkets and department stores, and speak with customs experts. They will also be able to discuss how to do business with the United States, applicable market regulations, logistical aspects and business opportunities in the country, and specifically in Florida.

On the first day, a product exhibition will also be held with North American experts, who will provide feedback on the products in terms of labeling, packaging, order frequency, textures and trends, among other aspects.

Day 2

On Tuesday, May 14, the Business Matchmaking Forum will begin, with 281 buyers from 347 companies, from the United States and the Caribbean islands. Over two days, these buyers will hold around 4,320 business meetings with the 574 participating Colombian exporters, from 397 companies.

At the same time, a tourism seminar will take place with 60 Colombian entrepreneurs, including tourist operators, hoteliers and public officials. During the seminar, they will learn about consumer trends in the United States market and how to structure tourist packages for United States wholesalers.

Proexport will then facilitate a space where they can hold business meetings with 50 American wholesalers interested in including Colombia in their catalogs and/or increasing the number of products available nationally to their clients.

Day 3

The last day, May 15, will not only include the Business Matchmaking Forum, but also an investment seminar with 10 Free Trade Zones, five Colombian regional investment agencies, and 50 potential investors from the United States.

At this seminar, Proexport will present the opportunities the country has to offer in terms of investment projects, economic strengths, and its existing legal certainty.

A discussion will also be held with two international experts. These are representatives of American companies set up in Colombia, who attend to American clients from within Colombia. Finally, the participants will have the opportunity to hold one on one meetings.

By Proexport

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