During the month of June 2014 a the Dan Panorama Hotel located in front of the cosmopolitan city of Tel Aviv boardwalk, a Colombia-Israel Seminar Business was performed with the presence of a delegation from Colombia headed by President Juan Manuel Santos and Minister of energy and water resources of Israel, Sivan Shalom, ambassadors from both countries and about 200 Israeli businessmen including who writes these lines.
During his speech president Santos mentioned country achievements in recent years, including economy growth and the approach to their rivals in order to try to reach an end to the conflict. At more personal level he shared his dream of being able to sustainable exploit lands of the vast Colombian territory which had gotten unproductive due to armed conflict, but which are now apparently ready to work them. He added it’s not necessary to make land productive but to do a fair land distribution. According to Santos, a rural development so as to succeed in making land more productive would help to fight poverty and inequality which are two of the major challenges his country faces and are more acute in outlying areas.
He emphasized potential for cooperation with Israel that realizes his dream. He mentioned that “Israel due to both its inventiveness – where is considered a champion of technological innovation – and drive of its people is the ideal partner for Colombia”. In addition, president is keen to attract investment from large Israeli companies to their country. In fact Israel’s investment in Colombia has been concentrated in chemical sector, renewable energy and agricultural technologies.
According to words of President Santos, Israel and Colombia can create enormous synergies and there are many opportunities where both countries can complement each other. These speak of cooperation, trade and investment issues, agriculture and other technologies.
“Israel and Colombia share values of democracy and freedom” Quoted by President Manuel Santos in Business Seminar
Another distinguished guest was Proexport’s President, Maria Claudia Lacouture, who mentioned there have found several productive sectors between Colombia and Israel that are highly complementary. National Infrastructure Agency Manager, Mr. Luis Andrade also offered a presentation on the opportunities and challenges of infrastructure in Colombia.
On the Israeli side Minister of Water and Energy Sivan Shalom commented on Israeli miracle where this small country ranks as the second country in the world listed on NASDAQ in innovation. He remarked as well Israel is an economy that stands out in the world for its development and technological advances, which have allowed it to become headquarter for major international companies. He thanked Colombia for being main supplier of coal to Israel. Interestingly he mentioned both countries have growing economies on about 4.5% per year and both countries share similar values about democracy and other issues. At last he spoke of Israel’s gas reserves, Israeli irrigation systems, water desalination technology and advances in agriculture and digital and information technologies.
These are just the issues our consulting firm Ocean Business specializes with. And with this visit we are even more committed to helping facilitate international business between Israel and Colombia.
We understand developing countries have the need to acquire sustainable technological solutions in order to advance in both social and economic development. These technologies are an important agent for local development.
Colombia has made huge strides in recent times which have even positioned it as a member of OECD countries. But there is still much to do.
So our goal at Ocean Business is to facilitate business relationships between Israel and Latin America particularly in Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Chile and Brazil in order to advance and leverage this technological revolution through a solid business platform which consolidates ideas and business models to help establish contacts and promote strategic alliances.
In a context of international business between both countries where a free trade agreement is expected soon, our commitment is to provide entrepreneurs, investors and professionals with the tools to develop and implement technology based business that collaborate with improving productivity, life quality and reducing environmental impacts.
For this we have a leading online professional platform that leverages business and provides information on innovative and commercially viable solutions, mainly sustainable technologies from Israel which are addressing mostly to developing countries.
Colombia is one of the countries with greatest diversity of birds and other plant and animal species on the planet
To conclude this article I emphasize that besides technological and mineral resources issues from both countries, there is a huge potential of trade in other sectors such as culture and tourism. Colombia is a mega diverse country with a splendid nature. In fact there is a curiosity Proexport’s President Maria Claudia Lacouture highlighted which refers to the tourist offer for Israeli traveler in Colombia. Colombia was the sixth destination for Israelis when traveling abroad, she assured. “We’ve found that Israel travelers enjoy welfare experience, bird watching, cultural heritage, religious sites and sunshine and beaches. Colombia is one of the emerging destinations in these segments, so it has an opportunity to increase tourist arrivals to our country.” Israel has indeed successfully developed rural tourism and could collaborate with Colombia in this area too.
Then best of luck for delegations and we hope to materialize many opportunities between these two brotherly countries.