Colombia’s enthusiastic participation at the EXPO 2020 Dubai has yielded excellent results for the country. The pavilion has had more than 1.600.000 visitors in a span of six months, and over 394 bilateral meetings and 60 promotional and commercial activities held in the premises. Local businesses in the country have achieved a great boost through the many investment and business opportunities presented by the EXPO. Over 300.000 products of the Colombian export offer that worth more than AED 8 million were sold in the four commercial spaces of the country’s pavilion both during and before the global exposition.
The South American country successfully displayed its artistry, culture, diversity, and opportunities by hosting various events, ranging from coffee and cacao tastings to agriculture and food weeks, along with in depth sessions regarding the investment potential of the departments in the country. Colombian companies in sectors such as fruit, coffee, meat, flowers, confectionary, creative industries, and highly specialized industrial equipment, among others, have exported around AED 117 million (USD 32 million) as a result of the country’s strategy.
Juan Pablo Cavelier, Commissioner General of Colombia said, “The EXPO 2020 at Dubai has truly delivered exactly as promised. It has produced tremendous results and has served as a major boost to the Colombian economy. We have been able to carry out several events, conferences, and business meetings in the presence of extremely distinguished government officials, and global business leaders. Local businesses and agricultural sectors have experienced tremendous growth during this period, achieving targets well before planned. Most importantly, the EXPO has helped shine a spotlight on Colombia, highlighting what makes our country unique, and we are looking forward to furthering our partnerships with this visionary nation.”
ProColombia’s International Macro-Roundtable conference was also held at the EXPO in November and resulted in 450 meetings between buyers from 25 different countries and exporters from 17 departments of the region. This has served as a major boost to the Colombian economy, creating a positive balance of AED 15 million (USD 4.1 million) in immediate purchases, and business expectations of more than AED 218 million (USD 59.6 million). A total of 258 Colombian public and private entities, and more than 2,371 international businessmen and country representatives took part in these high-level gatherings
Various events and discussions have also succeeded in highlighting the unique features of the country visitors have gained the opportunity to access in-depth knowledge about the country, its biodiversity, nature, and opportunities. Colombia was also able to successfully direct attention towards its sustainable practices, resulting in the country meeting its 2022 target for non-mining energy exports by the end of 2021. They witnessed a 38 per cent increase in the segment, amounting to AED 32 million (USD 8.8 million).
Expo 2020 has been very successful in highlighting Colombian hospitality, and the country has received a lot of encouragement from the positive feedback directly and through their social media platforms. Correctly placed in the Opportunity sector, the EXPO has also helped bring forward Colombia’s opportunities in sectors, such as coffee, chocolate, biodiversity, renewable resources, and budding IT sectors among others. The country has also been able to utilize the platform to showcase their prowess in innovation, development, research, and technology, signaling their future-oriented outlook.
The UAE has been extremely forthcoming in ensuring that countries that participate in the EXPO receive ample opportunities to demonstrate their potential. The event has strengthened trade relations between the UAE and the world and has facilitated Colombia’s partnerships. Colombia is looking forward to witnessing the positive impacts that the partnerships developed over the EXPO will have on future innovations and growth in the country.
María Juliana Ruíz Sandoval, The First Lady of Colombia, and the Colombian Vice President and Minster of Foreign Affairs Marta Lucía Ramírez Blanco, participated as panelists in the World Government Summit on March 28, 2022, at the Dubai Exhibition Center of EXPO 2020.
The First Lady of Colombia addressed the gathering with a speech about the role of women in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030, and the Vice President spoke on the topic, ‘The 50% Cabinet: Why Women Must Sit in Executive Government.’
Colombia has always been at the forefront for championing women’s causes. The country has launched several initiatives to empower several communities in the region. The Expo 2020 platform has further highlighted the importance of addressing these issues, providing the country with a platform for global dialogue and policy formulation to develop effective solutions.
Hosted by the World Government Summit Organization, the event was attended by world leaders and senior government officials.
The World Government Summit Organization is a global, neutral, non-profit organization dedicated to shaping the future of governments. The Summit, in its various activities, explores the agenda of the next generation of governments, focusing on harnessing innovation and technology to solve universal challenges facing humanity.
Investment prospects and opportunities to contribute to Colombia’s sustainable development in the water sector will be extensively discussed by the country’s Vice Minister of Water and Basic Sanitation, Jose Luis Acero, during his visit to the Expo 2020 Dubai. Delegates from the water and sanitation sector, will also be present along with the Vice Minister for the Expo Water Week, which will take place from March 20 to 26, 2022.
The Expo Water Week will feature a wide range of worldwide water interventions, innovations, and best practice solutions to promote the efficient use of water. Colombia is keen to invest in increasing water consumption efficiency in all its sectors in order to ensure the sustainable management of water supply to address water scarcity issues and to enhance water quality.
Furthermore, Colombia also targets cutting down on water pollution by reducing the release of chemicals and hazardous materials into its waterways. It thus would require the need to invest in technologies such as water recycling and safe reuse of treated water by up to 95 percent. In this regard, the country’s leaders in the water sector seek to benefit from Expo events in line with its goals of building sustainable partnerships and promoting investment opportunities in the country.
Acero will participate in several business meetings and forums during the week to share Colombia’s commitment to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 6 which is focused on ensuring access to water and sanitation for all.
The delegation from the Vice Ministry of Water and Basic Sanitation (VASB, acronym in spanish) will include the Superintendent of Home Public Services, the President of FINDETER (National Development Bank) and the President of the Colombian Association of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering (ACODAL, acronym in spanish), among others. They will join the Vice Minister in various business meetings and conferences throughout the Expo Water Week. Some of these activities include the Water Business Forum and meetings focused on developments in Latin America.
The VASB will organize the event “The transformation of people’s lives with the 2018-2022 water and sanitation policy”, to present the sector’s achievements and challenges, as well as investment opportunities in water, sanitation and solid waste infrastructure projects. The Colombia Pavilion will also showcase sectorial innovations and present opportunities for collaboration with other countries in developing new and efficient methods in water efficiency and conservation, while aiming to attract investments in the field.
The EXPO Water Week will serve as a platform for the South American country to showcase its innovations, collaborate with other countries to develop new and efficient methods, and to further increase the country’s investment potential.
The President of the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) Dr. Armando Zamora visited the Colombia pavilion at the EXPO 2020 Dubai from March 13-15, 2022. The President carried out this visit to showcase Colombia’s fossil fuel potential and explore various partnership and investment opportunities with the UAE.
The ANH is an administrator and regulator of the nation’s hydrocarbon resources. The agency invited prospective domestic and foreign investors in line with Colombia’s commitment to developing its oil, natural gas, and coal resources export to world markets.
Colombia possesses numerous fossil fuel and natural resources. The country is studded with various petroleum, coal, and natural gas reserves that remain significantly untapped and unexplored. Colombia is home to the largest coal reserves in South America, which also makes it the largest coal producer. An estimate of just the proven potential reserves in Colombia come up to 10,400MBOE (Million Barrels of Oil Equivalent). However, the sustainability-oriented country sources almost 70 per cent of its electric power from hydroelectric sources.
By offering attractive systems, economic and political stability, fully operational agency, high investor confidence, and vast geological potential, the Colombian government has created the ideal environment for businesses to thrive. The country has liberalized its energy and mining sector to encourage more participation from international companies to explore and develop the country’s resources. The EXPO 2020 Dubai acts as the ideal platform for the ANH to engage further in such discussions.