From 15 to 17 November, a delegation from all islands belonging to the Kingdom of the Netherlands conducted business in Colombia, during the Caribbean2Colombia Mission.
Thanks to the joint work of the Colombian-Dutch Chamber of Commerce-Holland House Colombia, Stichting Beheer MKB fondsen and the Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the Dutch Caribbean, a Caribbean2Colombia Mission was carried out in November. The main objective of the mission was to establish a relationship and connection between companies in the Dutch Caribbean and in Colombia, in search of the creation of business networks and commercial agreements. Participants were companies and entities from all 6 Caribbean islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands: Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba and St. Maarten.
Expanding the market in both directions
Within the welcome meeting, which took place at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bogotá, 7 companies and entities from the islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands confirmed their willingness to expand their market towards new horizons through bilateral trade. For Jan Willem van Bokhoven, director of the Chamber of Commerce-Holland House, geographical and cultural proximity is a fundamental pillar for trade, which generates that the islands and Colombia become crucial trading partners. Likewise, he affirmed that there is a lot of interest in strengthening and getting many more Colombian companies to arrive with their products to the Caribbean and use the islands as a commercial hub for the entire region.
As expected, the delegation was able to carry out commercial approaches with different relevant actors in the services, tourism and agriculture sectors during their visit to Bogota. The formal closing of the mission was on the 17th with the celebration of the Day of the Entrepreneur, an event that seeks to highlight the innovative ideas of all those businessmen and entrepreneurs of both Colombia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Air connection with Copa Airlines
Hemmie van Xanten, President of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry Statia and Saba, was among the participants: “I had the privilege to meet with several companies who provide fresh fruits and vegetables. Together with the Chamber of Commerce of St. Maarten we are investigating the possibility to bring these fresh products to our islands. Considering the currently difficult maritime connection between Colombia and The Windward Islands, Copa Airlines has been approached in order for them to fly goods to St. Maarten. From thereon, goods will find their way to Saba and Statia.
I also met with construction companies on Saba with regards to construction materials like prefab housing, sanitary products, ceramics, electrical goods and many other materials.”
The Chamber of Commerce will pass on the contact details of the various companies to relevant businesses on Saba and Statia so that they can directly get in contact with the Colombian suppliers. The Chamber is happy to facilitate and support the businesses by gathering and offering the necessary information to establish a fruitful trading relationship.
If you have any questions or specific interest in the topic, please contact your local Chamber office.