During the six months of the World Expo, 1.6 million people visited the Colombian pavilion. Trade agreements were concluded for non-mining exports with expectations of $59.6 million and foreign investment opportunities were generated with a potential of $600 million.
Expo 2020 Dubai It has become the world’s most important business scenario to drive post-pandemic economic recovery. With the participation from 190 countries, multilateral organizations and global corporationsmore than 20 million people gathered at the Universal Exhibition, which brought together for six months all the exportable, tourist and investment offer of the planet.
Colombia, with a 2,000 m2 pavilion, showcased the best of its non-mining energy goods and services (NME), the warmth and charm of its six tourism regions, and its destination attributes for foreign investment. As main results, business expectations stand out for US$59.6 million in NME exports and opportunities to attract foreign direct investment with the potential to attract US$600 million.
“We have concluded Colombia’s participation in Expo Dubai with excellent results for the country, thanks to the synergy between the national government, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, ProColombia and the men of private sector business. The Expo has meant a very big step in the consolidation of the ‘Vision 2030 Colombia – United Arab Emirates’, since it allows us to get closer to the objective set by President Iván Duque, which seeks to achieve exports of non-mining energy for the United States. $130 million to this region by 2030,” he said. Flavia Santoro, President of ProColombia.
The pavilion, designed with 100% Colombian talents, ranked third in the general prize of the organization of Expo 2020 Dubai and the Bureau International des Expositions, in the category of thematic interpretation.
Within the framework of Expo 2020 Dubai, the International Export Roundtable was held, led by ProColombia, during which 127 exporters from 17 departments of the country had business meetings with 97 buyers. international from 25 countries. This macro cycle left a balance of US$4.1 million in immediate buys and trade expectations of US$59.6 million.
Among the highlights of foreign trade, during the Expo the first rounds of FTA negotiations between Colombia and the United Arab Emiratesa trade agreement that will allow access to a complementary market with high purchasing power, fast growth and which imports approximately 5,000 million dollars of food from the world.
In the same way, Emirates Sky Cargo has opened the Bogota-Dubai direct cargo route, as part of the action plan for the implementation of the Global Logistics Passport in Colombia. This program, led by the government of Dubai, aims to develop nine global trade and logistics hubs, including Colombia. This decision was endorsed by the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism and DP World last October, within the framework of the Colombia Investment Summit organized by ProColombia.
The agenda for the Colombian pavilion included the management of 394 bilateral meetings and more than 60 commercial and promotional actions, which included the participation of 258 public and private entities of the country and the presence of more than 2,371 international businessmen. Likewise, more than 254,000 products from the country’s exportable offer were sold in the commercial spaces of the pavilion, for approximately 2 million dollars.
During the six months of the Expo, regional delegations from the country participated, accompanied by ProColombia, in business agendas with representatives of the main Emirati sovereign wealth funds (Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Mubadala, Investment Corporation of Dubai, Dubai Holding and International Investors Council UAE) to invest in the infrastructure, tourism, agribusiness and renewable energy sectors. Through this management, 10 new investment opportunities were generated with the potential to attract US$600 million in different parts of the country.
Among the delegations that joined the more than 20 investment programs that were drawn up were the governorates and government secretariats of Valle del Cauca, Risaralda, Atlántico, Antioquia, Cundinamarca. From the National Government, the Presidency of the Republic participated; the Ministries of Finance, Mines, ICT; the National Mining Agency, SENA, Innpulsa; and various chambers of commerce.
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These results contribute to achieving the objectives of promoting investment attraction, envisaged in the “Vision 2030 Colombia – United Arab Emirates”, which consist of increasing foreign direct investment by 500 million US dollars and attracting 12 new development projects. investment in 10 years.
In the achievements of this axis, Colombia’s management at Expo 2020 Dubai has made significant progress in terms of diversifying the attraction of foreign direct investment in the regions of the country. Between October 1, 2021 and March 23, 2022, 24 public entities had an agenda with international investors, including governorates, promotion agencies and economic development secretariats of different departments of the country.
The investment potential attracted during the universal exhibition is reflected in concrete actions such as the letter of intent with the firm Tactical Management, with which an investment of 350 million dollars is planned. Similarly, ALDAHRA, the executing body of the United Arab Emirates’ food security policy, will advance a program in Colombia to explore investment opportunities in the month of May 2022. Agreements have also been signed with companies such as DMCC and Dubai Multi Commodity Center among others. .
From its conception and design, the Colombian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai was designed to promote the diversity and warmth of the “world’s most welcoming country”, through interactive experiences for visitors with the country’s destinations. As a result of this management, the number of visa applications from the United Arab Emirates to Colombia has increased by 125% compared to 2019.
To the good results in terms of Colombia’s international air connectivity are added the announcements made by Turkish Airlines, a company that has increased the frequency of its commercial flights to Bogotá, going from three weekly flights to one daily, which will represent an increase traffic between Colombia and the Middle East.
In line with the cross-cutting objective of positioning Colombia as a tourist destination in the MEASA region, ProColombia has promoted and accompanied the participation of businessmen and sector organizations in key meetings for the different industry segments.
For the first time, a Colombian delegation took part in the Meetings Arabia & Luxury Travel Congress, where 22 meetings were held with buyers from the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia. Likewise, 10 companies from the country participated in the Colombia Matchmaking Forum in Dubai during which they presented their offer to businessmen in the region.
The Colombian Pavilion
The audiovisual production and interior assembly of the pavilion experience was carried out by the companies Dirty Kitchen, Pulsa and Inmov, after an open call process that allowed this group of Colombian creatives to be present at this event global.
The sculpture ‘Reclining Woman’, by master Fernando Botero, located in the garden of the Colombian pavilion, has become one of the most visited and recognized points within the framework of Expo 2020 Dubai.
The pavilion’s commercial spaces were operated by companies such as Juan Valdez, Compañía Nacional de Chocolates, Aviatur, Alimentos SAS, LA CANO and Mercedes Salazar, among others.