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Just another expo and conference? A story about how participation in the National Infrastructure Congress changed business for companies established in Colombia

Infrastructure is a growing, strong and attractive segment in Colombia. Private companies are awarded concessions of the PPP projects which results in large purchases and fast and direct procurement processes for the required products and solutions. Accessing the right people in the right forum was a game changer for ABB, Atlas Copco and Scania.

“We have now participated in the event two years in a row and wouldn’t miss it. We see a clear ROI through the relationships we initiate and strengthen in Cartagena and appreciate the additional support from Business Sweden in accessing relevant stakeholders during the event. This is definitely the best infrastructure forum in Colombia and all high level decision makers come here” said Benoit Tanguy, CEO of Scania in Colombia.

Business Sweden did a test run of a Swedish stand at the annual Infrastructure Congress in Cartagena in 2015. Aside from the physical space at the expo, the participation includes networking support throughout the event. Following the positive outcome for the participants in the first year, we decided to repeat the participation in 2016 and are now planning to go again in 2017.

Vivian Montoya, Marketing and Communications Manager for Latin America at ABB, comments: “When we went in 2015, we weren’t really sure what to expect. We’re used to participating in expos, but this one is definitely different in terms of the level of participants, the contacts we made and the level of conversations we have even as an established company with 50 years on the market.”

The Colombian government has three main goals for 2018 include developing and consolidating the road network to increase economic competitiveness and inter regional connectivity, consolidating an inter modal goods transport network integrating rail, river and air, and increase the use of public transport. In 2014, transport was 4.3% of the GDP and is expected to reach 5.6% by 2018. The 30 projects of the fourth generation infrastructure program released between 2016 and 2018 are expected to transform over 8 thousand km of roads, rail, tunnels, ports and airports.

“Participating in the Swedish stand at the National Infrastructure Congress is a cost efficient way to access the main stakeholders within the segment and be present with the Atlas Copco brand” mentions Marcela Bohorquez, Communications Manager for Atlas Copco in Colombia.

“It’s difficult to get a spot at the event. Companies who once had a stand space hold onto it, but we hope to get a bigger area in 2017 which would permit us to include more Swedish companies. From the results the event has produced for ABB, Atlas Copco and Scania, we see this as a must-do event for both established and new companies” says Erik Alarik, Country Manager for Business Sweden in Colombia.

Erik Alarik

Country Manager Bogotá D.C Country Manager, Bogotá D.C
+571 7436040 ext. 201
E-post erik.alarik@business-sweden.se