Beginning Wednesday, September 16th and 17th, 20 US companies will be visiting Colombia, accompanied by the US Chamber of Commerce and the US State Department. The delegation will be meeting with top Colombian government representatives to discuss different topics relevant to business operations and investment efforts in Colombia:
Meetings scheduled on the trade mission agenda include:
- Priorities of the National Development Plan with Simón Gaviria Director General, National Planning Directorate
- Colombia´s Investment Climate and Opportunities with Juliana Gomez, Director of Foreign Direct Investment, Procolombia
- Tax and Customs Reforms with Mauricio Cárdenas, Minister of Finance; and Santiago Rojas, Director, Tax and Customs Agency (DIAN)
- U.S. Colombia Trade Issues and Opportunities, with Mariana Sarasti Montoya, Vice Minister of Foreign Trade
- Infrastructure Roundtable with Vice President Germán Vargas Lleras; Luis Fernando Andrade Director, National Infrastructure Agency; and Clemente del Valle, President, Financiera Nacional De Desarrollo
Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State, Ambassador David Thorne will lead the delegation in meetings with senior government officials and business representatives. This trip will provide US business leaders with the opportunity to engage with senior government officials, explore opportunities regarding trade expansion, gain insights on the investment and business climate, and network with the leaders of major Panamanian and Colombian enterprises.
Colombian Ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzon said that while the mission will include companies in each major business sector, the Colombian government is particularly keen to attract new investments in the infrastructure sector. Pinzón also described as a “pretty clear” message of support to his country the fact that the U.S. mission includes Thorne, adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry.
“The State Department is not sending similar missions to other countries in the neighborhood,” Pinzón said after referring to the border closure ordered several weeks ago by the government of Venezuela.
In addition to Ambassador Thorne, Jodi Hanson Bond, vice president of the Americas for the International Division at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will also accompany the US investors and executives. Bond manages teams dedicated to policy and advocacy services for US Chamber of Commerce members with business interests in the Americas.
The Cámara de Comercio Colombo Americana, “AmCham Colombia”is helping to coordinate events on the ground in Colombia, and can be contacted for further information on this or future missions.
Photo credit of Ambassador Pinzon: U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley – This Image was released by the United States Department of Defense with the ID 120423-D-TT977-557
Photo credit of Ambassador Thorne: U.S. State Department Official Photo