Last week the 55th Business Matchmaking Forum of Procolombia ended in Bogota, a space in which nearly 4,500 entrepreneurs gathered to provide an opportunity for national companies to close business deals in over 52 countries. Pineapple, dragon fruit, cannas, guadua (a type of bamboo) building materials, swimwear, tilapia, acai, stevia, rum cocktail in personal doses, window frames, cosmetics, flowers and snacks, among others, were some of the products that opened new doors towards their internationalization.
We present some examples of Colombian companies seeking to make inroads into the world markets.
1. Coffee capsules for the world. Fincafé is a company from Manizales with over a decade of tradition that has sent encapsulated coffee for a year to markets in the United States and Canada. The product – developed in partnership with COLCUP , also from Manizales, responsible for encapsulating the coffee and manufacturing the specialized machines –, has been so well received that they are already looking into expanding in the European market.
2. Fruit-based cocktails. The Jonrón company seeks to enter the international market with an innovative product: a fruit juice based cocktail with rum. The variety of flavors and innovation in the packaging – customized and practical – earned it potential business in the United States, Aruba, Curacao and Costa Rica. “A product like this does not exist in Colombia. Not only the product, which is known for its quality, but its packaging,” Gonzalo Escobar, manager of the company, says.
3. Innovative material. For five years Fora Exteriores has manufactured and marketed products in polyethylene for outdoor use: lounges, dining rooms, sun loungers, lamps, facades and exhibitors, among others, are part of their extensive catalog. The new material not only is designed to withstand bad weather, it is also easy to maintain, lightweight, durable and very pleasing to the eye. Although they are already in the main cities of the country they expect to get their products to the international market soon.
4. Exotic fruit jellies. “I want the world to know all the products our country has. Especially the offer of fruits and natural products that are not found anywhere else in the world,” Edward Peñaranda says, manager of the company FrutaVid de Colombia. Among its offer we can mention the flesh and jelly of borojó and chontaduro (Bactris gasipaes), as well as guarana-based products.
5. With a social function. Confecciones y Accesorios Vivies is a company from Cartagena that makes bags and accessories in leather combined with different textures. They have a line of purses in recycled polypropylene which, also, supports a foundation responsible for preserving the marmoset monkey, an endangered species.
6. Clothes with technology. La Saeta Sport sportswear, created in 1984, moved from the neighborhood stores to the country’s stadiums. This company specializing in clothing for high performance athletes has been the sponsor of almost every soccer team, the squash, karate and bowling federations, and high performance athletes such as Catherine Ibargüen. Their products evoke astonishment in international markets for the design and the fabrics with technology that prevent moisture, protect from the UV rays, and have compression technology, which reduces muscle strain and the risk of injury.
7. “Light” typical sweets. Stevia de Rionegro is a company from Bucaramanga that makes typical Colombian sweets and desserts sweetened with stevia, a low calorie sweetener. Guava jelly, caramel spread and cocoa powder are some of the products they export to Brazil, and that they want to start also to produce in a plant in the United States.
8. To your health. The products of the company from Bogota Serranova are not only designed to protect the health of the consumers but also the environment: shampoos, tonics and conditioners made with natural extracts such as aloe vera, nettle and rosemary. For the time being they are sold in health food stores in more than five cities in the country and thanks to the Business Matchmaking Forum they expect to start exporting soon.
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