Home > 1,300 Appointments Held in the European Business Matchmaking Forum Result in Business Expectations worth $60 Million USD

1,300 Appointments Held in the European Business Matchmaking Forum Result in Business Expectations worth $60 Million USD

The event organized by Proexport Colombia was attended by 147 buyers from 10 European countries and 157 Colombian exporters from 16 departments, including Putumayo, San Andres, and Tolima 

The first Business Matchmaking Forum organized in the European Union by Proexport Colombia resulted in business expectations worth $60 million USD and onsite sales of 1.6 million USD, which confirmed the interest in light of the free trade between both markets.

The event was held in Frankfurt, Germany and Paris, France, where the President of Proexport Maria Claudia Lacouture stated that the results mirror current business opportunities for Colombian products in the European Union, as well as the interest in doing business since the Trade Agreement came into force.

"About 75% of the 147 attending buyers had never traded with Colombian products, and 88 of the 157 participating Colombian companies are returning to the European market after a few years of not exporting to this trade block," explained Lacouture.

She also highlighted the attendance of Colombian regions that had never participated in a business matchmaking forum before. “For example, there was a company from Putumayo that showcased natural ingredients, another from San Andres selling crafts, companies from Tolima working with agricultural products, and coffee and confectionery product companies from Risaralda, apparel companies from Cucuta, and crafts, apparel and leather goods from Cauca.”

A total of 16 Colombian departments were represented during this trade event.

Presidenta de Proexport Colombia, María Claudia Lacouture
Maria Claudia Lacouture, President of Proexport Colombia, said that after 1,300 appointments, the Business Matchmaking Forum in the European Union resulted in expectations worth $60 million USD

También resaltó la participación de regiones colombianas que no habían estado antes en una macrorrueda de negocios. “Tuvimos, por ejemplo, una empresa del Putumayo  que vino a ofrecer ingredientes naturales; otra de San Andrés vendiendo artesanías;  empresas del Tolima que están relacionadas con productos del agro; de Risaralda con café y confitería; de Cúcuta con confecciones; y de Cauca con artesanías, confecciones y marroquinería”.

En total fueron 16 los departamentos que estuvieron representados durante el encuentro comercial.

As for the European buyers from 10 different countries who attended the event, France was the country with most representatives, with 44 participating companies. Spain came second with 37 companies, followed by Germany with 31 companies, and the United Kingdom with 19, Poland with 6, Holland with 5, Portugal with 4, and Sweden, Switzerland, and Denmark with one company each.

In total, 46% of the European companies were interested in agribusiness providers, 31% in apparel vendors, and 22% in manufacturing suppliers.

"There is a high potential in the agricultural sector thanks in part to tariff benefits. For example, aquaculture products had tariffs between 2%-26% and they now enter the country at 0%. The same applies to special coffees that used to pay 11.5% and flowers that paid 8%-12%," stated Lacouture.

In addition to the Business Matchmaking Forum, Proexport held a series of complementary promotion activities both in Germany and France.

Exporters, for example, participated in trade visits to learn about the key features of the market, analyze their products and services and make the necessary adjustments to reach the European market. Proexport also held an investment seminar for 60 companies interested in learning about the opportunities in the infrastructure sector in Colombia; the international tourism promotion campaign "Colombia is Magic Realism" was introduced to 30 French travel agencies; and 57 small- and medium-sized companies were taken in an exploratory mission.