OCO Global has opened a new office in Bogotá, a city that the Irish economic development consultancy believes will make a great regional home as it tries to help clients take access the Latin American market.
As it looks to “identify and unlock new opportunities in the region,” said the Belfast-based advisory company in a statement, it will be unveiling what it calls its “Global Market Accelerator Programme” (MAP). This systematic deployment strategy, which is already operating at its French office, aims to clear the barriers to market-entry for any firms that are just getting their feet wet in Latin America.
More than simply a jump-off point for the region, Mark O’Connell, chief executive officer of OCO, says Colombia’s domestic market is appealing due to the peace accord reached last year with the FARC guerrilla group. This will, he says, “create huge business opportunities” related to rural development, infrastructure, and the extraction sector. “The decision to base ourselves in Colombia is strategic,” he said.
ProColombia, a public agency promoting exports and foreign direct investment, helped facilitate the company’s launch in Colombia, according to O’Connell. And on top of the local possibilities, he sees the Andean capital as the right place from which to help clients find new business from Mexico to Argentina..
“Latin America is an exciting emerging market that should not be neglected,” said O’Connell. With a physical presence in Colombia, he says that the OCO Global “specialist team on the ground will help our clients make the right connections and navigate these markets successfully.”
The company sees a recovery in commodity prices and rising domestic demand as two key reasons that now is the right time for expansion. Further trade diversification for nations in Latin America, as they try to confront rising protectionism in the United States and Europe, also offers a promising opportunity, the company says.
The Irish firm believes this will boost the pace of trade growth within Latin America, which Sergio Barraza, OCO Global’s regional head, noted is “currently the world region that trades the least with itself.” As the integration trend continues, “this will create further trade and investment opportunities for both SMEs and mid-cap companies,” he said.