CARTAGENA — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Business Association of Colombia (ANDI) hosted the third U.S.-Colombia Business Summit to strengthen cooperation between the two countries’ private sectors and increase commercial and economic activity.
"The Summit is a key mechanism to advance the immense potential of the bilateral relationship," said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of International Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “By building on the success of the trade agreement framework and moving forward in new areas of joint interest such as energy, services, and emerging technologies, we are poised to make the U.S.-Colombia relationship an engine of growth and opportunity.”
During the forum the two parties, in cooperation with ProColombia, released a new report, “Colombia-U.S. Investment Roadmap,” which highlights the strength and potential of the commercial relationship. The roadmap outlines mutual achievements since the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement entered into force in 2012 and serves as a tool for American investors to better understand Colombia’s supply chains and business environment.
“There is tremendous potential for additional investment and economic growth in Colombia, and the roadmap announced today represents an important step toward creating new business opportunities that will benefit the Colombian people and economy,” said Occidental President and CEO Vicki Hollub, who chairs the U.S.-Colombia Business Council. “By working together, we contribute expertise in key commercial sectors and help create a clear pathway for future investment.”
Launched at the Summit was Cacao for Colombia: A Sustainable and Climate Smart Cacao Initiative, a multi-stakeholder project designed by member companies to integrate smallholder farmers into the cacao-to-chocolate global value chain through social investment. Vicki Hollub, the U.S. Chamber, and participating executives from Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, and Drummond Company presented H.E. President Iván Duque with a signed copy of the memorandum of understanding that supports the project.
“The U.S. is Colombia’s number one trading partner, accounting for 25% of global imports and exports,” said Bruce Mac Master, President of ANDI. “This Summit represents the commitment of both the public and private sectors in the two countries to strengthen and build an agenda that promotes the necessary actions to increase the creation of jobs, innovation, and social development through increased investment and commerce.”
Cesar Caicedo, President of Colombina and Chair of the U.S.-Colombia Business Council Colombia chapter stated, "I call on the private sector to explore opportunities to work together as there are specific sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, and technology with tremendous trade and investment opportunities as well as the potential for job creation."
The Summit featured remarks from H.E. Iván Duque, President of the Republic of Colombia; José Manuel Restrepo, Minister of Trade, Industry and Commerce; and Sylvia Constaín, Minister of Information and Communications Technology. U.S. government officials addressing the forum included Adam Boehler, Chief Executive Officer, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation; Joseph Laroski, Policy Director, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce; and Amb. Philip Goldberg, Ambassador of the United States to Colombia.