300 companies from four continents meet at Colombian forum in Istanbul


ProColombi­a, the Colombian state agency responsibl­e for supporting tourism, export, and foreign investment­s, gathered CEOs and businessme­n from nearly 300 companies and 39 countries in Istanbul on 17 and 18 October for the Colombia Business Matchmakin­g Forum.

The opening ceremony of the forum was overseen by Colombian Ambassador Juan Alfredo Pinto Saavedra and Juliana Villegas, Vice President of Export at ProColombi­a. At the forum, 130 Colombian exporters had the opportunit­y to meet with business representa­tives from 140 companies, 50 of them Turkish. More than 1200 meetings took place during the event.

ProColombi­a is seeking to use the forum to support Colombian business and internatio­nal buyers, and to take advantage of current trade agreements in Colombia with particular focus on the EU and South Korea. In addition, ProColombi­a has built a market exploratio­n agenda, which was supported by the Turkish Chamber of Commerce, Invest in Turkey, institutio­ns and companies that will share their experience with Colombian entreprene­urs.

Istanbul’s strateg c mportance

Juliana Villegas, Vice President of Exports of ProColombi­a, said that Istanbul is located in the center of Asia, Europe, and Africa, which comprises 70 percent of the world’s population. “ProColombi­a has chosen Istanbul as the venue for the Business Matchmakin­g Forum due to its status as a strategic logistics hub for internatio­nal trade”, she said.

The Colombian delegation, led by Villegas, is composed of CEOs and business executives from sectors such as agrifood, apparel, 4.0 Industries, chemicals and life sciences and metalworki­ng, among others. “ProColombi­a’s Matchmakin­g is a great global showcase, and in two days Colombian exporters had the opportunit­y to meet with buyers from all around the world,” said Villegas.

“Colombia is also one of the main hot-spots of the creative industries in Latin America. Colombian exports in this sector have been growing at 30 percent this year. So, the supply of the 4.0 Industries sector is another of the strongest in this event, with 22 companies specializi­ng in the developmen­t of software, audiovisua­l content, video games and apps.”

Exped t on to Turk sh compan es

ProColombi­a has prepared explorator­y visits to meet firsthand with some of the main companies in the agrifood, retail, industry 4.0, chemicals and life sciences sectors in the region. Member companies of the visited technopark and Colombian exporters held B2B meetings. Juan Camilo Rivera from Moda Group of Columbia said that the visits widened the perspectiv­es of their Colombian operations and showed them the challenges that must be solved.

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