The interest generated during Cucuta's Business Matchmaking Forum by what Norte de Santander has to offer in te...
The interest generated during Cucuta's Business Matchmaking Forum by what Norte de Santander has to offer in terms of exports, led the international participants to consider the department as an immediate option for the purchase of products such as construction materials and clothing items.
This business matchmaking event was participated by 64 international buyers from 11 countries and 191 entrepreneurs from the department, who accepted Proexport's invitation to find new export opportunities.
Harold Prado, from Bolivia, is one example of Norte de Santander's possibilities for diversification. "In this region, you have the best or among the best clay in the world. This is obviously reflected in the variety and quality of the products," stated the entrepreneur, who arrived in Cucuta in search of construction finishes such as trim, floors, roofs and tiles.
In Peru, the construction material sector also has potential. According to Pepe Daga, representative of a distributor in the neighboring country, "there is a construction boom, but we don't have the production capacity. I work on projects for the private and public sectors, but my Achilles' heel has always been the challenge of sourcing materials such as clay, particularly for tiles. Fortunately, in Cucuta there is a lot of it, and it's good quality. I have already begun talks with several companies which I hope in the medium term to solidify purchase deals with".
On the other hand, local clothing entrepreneurs offered products such as children's clothing, footwear, leather goods, bathing suits and jeans. The foreigners also showed an interest in purchasing in these areas.
"I need to get providers from Cucuta, because I don't have any. I already buy from several departments in Colombia, but not from here, and from what I've seen, what Cucuta has to offer is spectacular." stated Peruvian David Blanc, retail importer of leather goods.
Blanc added that he wants to, "convince the entrepreneurs of this region to make the big step to exporting. Just look at the fact that the Lima market has accepted that today Colombian footwear is the best there is in this part of the world, and we also find the handbags to be amazing."
Alejandra Ortiz, importer of leather goods and jewelry from the United States, China and now Colombia, made the same point. "I'm interested in the wallets, handbags and belts, because you can't beat the quality they offer here. Besides that, they are unique products that are well liked in my country, the Dominican Republic."
In total, 11 countries came together. Ecuador brought the largest delegation with 16 entrepreneurs, followed by Guatemala with 11, and the Dominican Republic with 7. Participants also came from Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Aruba, Bolivia, El Salvador and Puerto Rico.