Published On: Mon, Aug 31st, 2015

Colombia, a strategic ally for the Caribbean Agribusiness Industry

Colombia continues to strengthen its commercial relation with the Caribbean in agribusiness exports due to its diversified offer of fruits, vegetables and confectioneries.

colombian_flagPROCOLOMBIA – Colombia’s agribusiness sector generates about 6.2% of the GDP, playing a key role in the growth of the country’s economy. According to the National Statistics Department (DANE), the exports in agribusiness grew by 10% compared to 2013 and its products have reached more than 127 countries.

Procolombia, the Colombian government promotion agency has played a fundamental role promoting the country as a world-class exporter due to its portfolio diversity. The agency offers complementary services such as attendance to industry tradeshows in Colombia, participation in business matchmaking forums securing relevant leads, and the elaboration of commercial agendas, among many others.

Colombia continues to position itself as a strategic partner for the Caribbean market, showing a sustained growth over the last couple of years. Agribusiness exports reached US$ 192.2 million representing an increase of 15.5% compared to 2013. In addition to bananas and flowers, the fastest growing sub-sectors of the country, in June 2015 the agribusiness and agricultural exports of sugar and honey, oils and fats, confectionery and bakery, among others, have contributed to a 6% increase in sales of Colombian products in the region.

The availability of land and water resources, variety of climates favoring crop yields and its geographical location allows the country to offer a diverse range of products such as fruits, vegetables and flowers all year long.

Colombia is the largest exporter of flowers in Latin America and the second in the world after the Netherlands with over 1,500 varieties of flowers and 7,200 hectares cultivated.

Due to its enviable logistical position with access to several markets worldwide, Colombia has established itself as an export platform for logistic hubs.

Colombia has 13 free trade agreements and 3 partial agreements in force that allows the country access to more than 45 countries and 1.5 billion consumers in markets such as United States, Europe Union, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Peru. Colombia current opportunities exist in products such as yuca, yams, citrus juices, flowers and raw materials for the bakery industry.

The free trade agreement with the United States benefits trade with Puerto Rico. In June 2015 the protocol that improves market access conditions for Goldenberry fruit was signed and on July 30 of the same year the first shipments arrived to the country. "The products in process of accessing the United States market include avocado in the agricultural side and beef in the livestock sector. We have made significant progress regarding these products admissibility and hope to consolidate it in the remainder of this year” "says Maria Claudia Lacouture, president of Procolombia.

In terms of connectivity, Colombia offers access to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The country has more than 16 shipping companies offering services to 56 ports in the Caribbean, such as: Caucedo, Kingston, Havana, Oranjestad, Point Lisas, Pointe a Pitre, Port of Spain, Rio Haina, San Juan, Willemstad, among others.

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