International buyers from countries having a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Colombia, accounted for business expectations worth US$ 73.9 million at Colombiamoda 2013.
The amount corresponds to 76 percent of the total US$ 97 million worth business generated by the buyers brought to the fair by Colombia’s Promotion of Tourism, Investment and Exports (Proexport).
According to a press release by Proexport, out of the 789 buyers from 33 markets that were brought in by Proexport to Colombiamoda, 300 were from countries having an FTA with Colombia and 81 percent of these buyers participated in the expo for the first time.
Maria Claudia Lacouture, President of Proexport, said the data indicated that FTAs are generating interests from international buyers seeking suppliers with quality products, and in the current year the US, Ecuador and Canada were the countries that reported the largest amounts of business expectations.
Chile, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Peru were some other countries with which Colombia has trade agreements.
Colombiamoda 2013 generated an estimated US$ 186 million in business expectations from total international buyers that attended the fair.
According to the statement, the buying interests were concentrated mainly in companies with complete range of products in all categories including innerwear, swimwear, sportswear and uniforms.
This year, Colombian brands, textiles and new business models such as franchising and joint ventures also managed to generate interest amongst the international buyers.
Ms. Lacouture said, Colombia is not only seen as a potential supplier of textiles and apparel but also as a platform for exports from other countries due to its strategic location, FTAs and the quality of raw materials and labor.
The European participation at Colombiamoda 2013, which had 39 companies from Spain, Portugal, UK, France and Germany, managed to generate US$ 6.5 million in business expectations.
Trade barriers between the European Union (EU) and Colombia would be lifted from August 1, 2013, as a comprehensive and far-reaching trade deal enters into application.
The Agreement would open up markets for both EU and Colombian exporters, eventually bringing annual savings of more than €500 million for companies.
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