Multi-State, Multi-Sector Trade Mission to Colombia; September 9-12, 2013, 15343-15346 [2013-05507]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 47 / Monday, March 11, 2013 / Notices groups, and publicity at industry meetings, symposia, conferences, and trade shows. Recruitment for the mission will begin immediately and conclude no later than July 12, 2013. CS Mexico will review all applications on a rolling basis and will inform applicants as they are accepted. Applications received after the July 12, 2013 date will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit. Contacts U.S. Commercial Service—Mexico Ms. Monica Martinez, Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service Mexico—Mexico City, Tel: +52 55 5140–2628, monica.martinez@trade.gov Mr. John Howell, Principal Commercial Officer, U.S. Commercial Service Mexico—Monterrey, Tel: + 52 81 8047–3223, john.howell@trade.gov Ms. Yazmin Rojas, Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service Mexico—Monterrey, Tel: +52 81 8047–3118, yazmin.rojas@trade.gov U.S. Commercial Service—United States Ms. Eve Lerman, Senior International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service—East Michigan, Tel: +1 248 975–9605, eve.lerman@trade.gov Elnora Moye, Trade Program Assistant. [FR Doc. 2013–05522 Filed 3–8–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Multi-State, Multi-Sector Trade Mission to Colombia; September 9–12, 2013 International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Mission Description The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS), in collaboration with the American ´ Chamber of Commerce in Bogota, is ´ organizing a Trade Mission to Bogota, Colombia from September 9–12, 2013. The purpose of this mission is to assist U.S. companies in launching or increasing exports of U.S. goods or services to Colombia. The mission will include business-to-business matchmaking appointments with local VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:19 Mar 08, 2013 Jkt 229001 companies, as well as market briefings and networking events. The mission is open to U.S. companies from a cross section of industries with growing potential in Colombia, including, but not limited to safety and security equipment and services, medical equipment, cosmetics, agricultural machinery, and information technology. Commercial Setting Why Colombia? The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA), which entered into force on May 15, 2012, creates market opportunities for U.S. firms in a number of sectors. The U.S.-Colombia TPA provides duty-free entry for over 80 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial exports to Colombia, with remaining tariffs to be phased out over the next 10 years. The U.S.-Colombia TPA also opens the market for remanufactured goods and provides greater protection for intellectual property rights (IPR). Colombia’s traditional acceptance of U.S. brands as well as U.S. and international standards provide a solid foundation for U.S. firms seeking to do business there. Colombia is the third largest market in Latin America, after Mexico and Brazil, and is ranked 22nd globally as a market for U.S. exports. Over the past 10 years, Colombia has become one of the most stable economies in the region. Improved security, sound government policies, steady economic growth, moderate inflation and a wide range of opportunities make it worthwhile for U.S. exporters to consider Colombia as an export destination. With more than 45 million people, an improved security environment, an abundance of natural resources, and an educated and growing middle-class, business opportunities are booming in Colombia. The country’s last two governments implemented policies that took Colombia on the path to global competitiveness, opening it up to global trade and investment for 10 consecutive years. Colombia’s strong economic growth, moderate inflation rates, and sound fiscal policies have made it a haven of stability in a time of economic uncertainty. Over the last decade, the country’s economy is estimated to have grown over 4% on average; inflation was kept in the single digits and is expected to remain well within the Central Bank of Colombia’s 2% to 4% range. Furthermore, the Government’s strict fiscal discipline led many international credit agencies to improve Colombia’s credit rating to investment grade for the first time in over 10 years. Increasing Foreign Direct Investment PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 15343 (FDI) in Colombia demonstrates Colombia’s rise as a business destination. In 2011, FDI into Colombia reached a historic US$13.4 billion from only US$2.4 billion in 2000, a fivefold increase in just ten years, with forecasts of continued growth through the next five years. By 2011, Colombia’s total international trade surpassed US$111 billion, exports reached US$56 billion while imports reached a historic US$55 billion. After implementing free trade agreements (FTAs) with the United States and with Canada, Colombia continues to move aggressively in opening up to trade, seeking to quickly implement FTAs negotiated with the European Union and South Korea, as well as moving ahead in negotiations with countries such as Japan, Turkey, Costa Rica and Israel. Best Prospects for U.S. Companies Safety and Security Industry The safety and security market in Colombia is a very dynamic sector, growing at an estimated rate of 5 to 10% per year. It is also estimated that the total Colombian budget for defense is US$10 billion in 2012 (close to 6% of GDP). The Colombian government is investing heavily in intelligence equipment and services. Market opportunities exist for safety and security industry products such as CCTV cameras, telephones for security, reproduction and record devices for security, data processing equipment, radio transmission, biometric equipment, and communication jammers, among others. Opportunities exist in the defense sector for helicopters and fixed wing parts and maintenance services, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and mine detectors, modern communication systems (MCS), IT-structure platforms, marine and coastal surveillance systems and logistics software solutions and applications, among others. The U.S.Colombia TPA reduced tariffs for a wide variety of products and services in the safety and security industries. Medical Equipment Strong opportunities exist for exports of medical equipment and other health industry-related products and services to Colombia. Following the entry into force of the U.S.-Colombia TPA, approximately 98% of all U.S. medical equipment imports into Colombia are subject to zero tariffs. U.S. imports enjoy the largest share of the local market, accounting for around a third of all medical equipment imports. Currently, E:\FR\FM\11MRN1.SGM 11MRN1 15344 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 47 / Monday, March 11, 2013 / Notices the strongest competitors are companies from Germany and Japan, and companies from China are quickly increasing their market share. The best approach to enter into this market is through distributors. In 2011, Colombia imported medical equipment & supplies valued at US$985 million, their highest ever level. A few multinationals manufacture in the country. The medical device industry is ´ concentrated around the capital Bogota. Per capita spending on medical devices is average for the region. According to a 2012 study by America Economia Intelligence, seven of the twenty best hospitals and clinics in Latin America are located in Colombia, including: Hospital Fundacion Santa Fe in Bogota (4th place); and Fundacion Valle del Lili in Cali, Fundacion Cardioinfantil in Bogota, and Fundacion Cardiovascular de Colombia in Bucaramanga (7th, 8th, and 9th place, respectively). mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Cosmetics Colombia is the fifth largest market for cosmetics in Latin America, following Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela. The estimated market size in 2010 was US$ 6.2 million. Local production of cosmetics, toiletries, and personal hygiene products has been growing on an average of 4.4% since 2003. Local production reached US$2.7 million in 2010. The Colombian cosmetic market is attractive for U.S. companies for various reasons: • Highest rate of females in the workplace in Latin America. Female participation in the labor force is 44.6% (2007) in Colombia. Women’s participation in the labor market has increased over 11% in the past five years; • Use of free trade zones for cosmetic and toiletry products, with corporate tax benefits; • Convenient geographic location as a global export hub; • Zero tariffs on many U.S. products in the cosmetic sector. Agricultural Equipment Colombia is the 18th largest market for U.S. agricultural equipment exports. The U.S.-Colombia TPA provided immediate tariff reduction to 0% from 10% on combines, to 0% from 15% on tractors, and reductions on other equipment. The U.S.-Colombia TPA eliminated Colombia’s restrictions on the importation of remanufactured goods, and the Government of Colombia is encouraging farmers to participate in lease programs. The agricultural equipment sector accounted for nearly VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:19 Mar 08, 2013 Jkt 229001 US$19 million in U.S. exports to Colombia over 2008–10 (average) or less than 1 percent of total U.S. industrial exports to Colombia. Colombia has been a net food importer because food production was disrupted by the unstable security environment. With improved security, areas that had gone unfarmed for prolonged periods are now producing, and the agricultural sector in Colombia is likely to continue to grow without affecting natural forests. Barely 8% of the potential arable land is effectively used. The availability of water resources in Colombia is among the highest in the world with nearly 45,202 cubic meters per capita per year which exceeds the South American average and is significantly higher than other regions in North America, Europe and Asia. The Government of Colombia is developing policies to incentivize the agriculture sector in Colombia, which, if carried out, will lead to opportunities for U.S. exporters of agricultural equipment. Information Technology Colombia’s IT sector has been experiencing very dynamic growth due to government investment in infrastructure, expanding connectivity throughout the country, and transitioning it from being a hardwaredemand driven market to a market that incorporates more value-added IT spending. The Ministry of Information Technology and Communications’ (MinTIC) is halfway through its broadband expansion plan called Vive Digital, which seeks to provide connectivity to 8 million Colombians throughout the entire country by 2014. While all of the major bids for this process are in the execution phase, the new connectivity environment is very likely to drive up demand for services by households and businesses, which will seek to take advantage of expanded Internet access. With the expected continuation of an advancing Colombian economy, the establishment of new businesses in the country should continue and even increase, particularly as Colombia moves forward in the implementation of the Free Trade Agreements it has negotiated. This trend should sustain the demand for hardware and software equipment. Additionally, as local companies continue to grow in size and scope of operations, they too are expected to strengthen their IT capabilities with investments in data centers and Customer Relationship Management Solutions, as well as IT Risk Services. Major government programs led by new entities such as iNNpulsa, are PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 allocating funds for technology modernization programs geared towards small and medium companies, which make up more than 90% of all Colombian businesses, and have been found to have very low rates of technology penetration and connectivity. This, in combination with a reduction in tariffs and taxes, particularly for new equipment such as computers and tablets, demonstrates significant opportunities for U.S. exporters in the IT industries. Other Products and Services The foregoing analysis of the above industry sectors in Colombia is not intended to be exhaustive, but illustrative of the many opportunities available to U.S. businesses. Applications from companies selling products or services generally within the scope of this mission will be considered and evaluated by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Companies whose products or services do not fit the scope of the mission may contact their local U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) to learn about other business development missions and export promotion services that may provide more targeted export opportunities. Companies may call 1–800–872–8723, or go to http://help.export.gov/ to obtain such information. This information also may be found on the Web site: http:// www.export.gov. Mission Goals The goal of the trade mission to Colombia is to help participating firms gain market insights, make industry contacts, solidify business/sector strategies, and advance specific projects, with the goal of increasing U.S. exports to Colombia. Participants will have access to the US&FCS Senior ´ Commercial Officer in Bogota and to US&FCS Commercial Specialists during the mission. They will learn about the many business opportunities in Colombia, and gain first-hand market exposure. Participants already doing business in Colombia will have opportunities to further advance business relationships and projects in that market. U.S. companies new to Colombia will gain support in finding agents, distributors, and joint venture partners through this mission, laying the foundation for successful long-term ventures by providing business-tobusiness introductions and market access information. Mission Scenario ´ The mission will stop in Bogota, Colombia. Participants will meet with pre-screened potential agents, E:\FR\FM\11MRN1.SGM 11MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 47 / Monday, March 11, 2013 / Notices distributors, and representatives, as well as other business partners and government officials. They will also attend market briefings by U.S. Embassy officials and networking events offering 15345 further opportunities to speak with local business and industry decision-makers. PROPOSED TIME TABLE Monday, September 9, 2013, Bogota, Colombia ............................................................................ Tuesday, September 10, 2013, Bogota, Colombia ......................................................................... Wednesday, September 11, 2013, Bogota, Colombia ................................................................... Thursday, September 12, 2013, Bogota, Colombia ....................................................................... Participation Requirements All parties interested in participating in the Trade Mission to Colombia must complete and submit an application package for consideration by the Department of Commerce. All applicants will be evaluated on their ability to meet certain conditions and best satisfy the selection criteria as outlined below. A minimum of 15 and a maximum of 30 U.S. companies will be selected to participate in the mission from the applicant pool on a first-come, first-served basis. U.S. companies already doing business with Colombia, as well as U.S. companies seeking to enter this market for the first time, may apply. Fees and Expenses After a company has been selected to participate on the mission, a payment to the Department of Commerce in the form of a participation fee is required. • The participation fee will be US$1,995 for a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) 1 and US$3,040 for a large firm • The fee for each additional representative is US$450. • Expenses for travel to and from the mission, lodging, most meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each mission participant. Intergovernmental Cooperation and Assistance for Small Businesses The U.S. Small Business Administration is partnering with State trade organizations to promote increased trade and exporting through the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program. As part of this program, some States are offering financial assistance for U.S. small mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 1 An SME is defined as a firm with 500 or fewer employees or that otherwise qualifies as a small business under SBA regulations (see http:// www.sba.gov/services/contractingopportunities/ sizestandardstopics/index.html). Parent companies, affiliates, and subsidiaries will be considered when determining business size. The dual pricing reflects the Commercial Service’s user fee schedule that became effective May 1, 2008 (see http:// www.export.gov/newsletter/march2008/ initiatives.html for additional information). VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:19 Mar 08, 2013 Jkt 229001 businesses to assist them in pursuing export opportunities, such as through participation on a Department of Commerce trade mission. Small businesses interested in more information about the STEP in their State are encouraged to contact their State STEP representative (contact information available by clicking on the interactive map at www.sba.gov/step) to learn more about the resources and assistance offered by their State trade organization. Conditions of Participation • An applicant must submit a completed and signed mission application and supplemental application materials, including adequate information on the company’s products and/or services primary market objectives, and goals for participation. If the Department of Commerce receives an incomplete application, the Department may reject the application, request additional information, or take the lack of information into account when evaluating the applications. • Each applicant must also certify that the products and services it seeks to export through the mission are either produced in the United States, or, if not, marketed under the name of a U.S. firm and have at least fifty-one percent U.S. content. Selection Criteria for Participation Selection will be based on the following criteria, listed in decreasing order of importance: • Suitability of the company’s products or services for the Colombian market • Company’s potential for business in Colombia, including likelihood of exports resulting from the mission • Consistency of the applicant’s goals and objectives with the stated scope of the trade mission Referrals from political organizations and any documents containing references to partisan political activities (including political contributions) will be removed from an applicant’s PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Arrival. Market Briefing. Networking reception. Matchmaking appointments and/or site visits. Matchmaking appointments. Depart. submission and not considered during the selection process. Timeframe for Recruitment and Applications Mission recruitment will be conducted in an open and public manner, including publication in the Federal Register, posting on the U.S. Department of Commerce trade mission calendar (www.export.gov/ trademissions) and other Internet Web sites, press releases to general and trade media, notices by industry trade associations and other multiplier groups, and publicity at industry meetings, symposia, conferences, and trade shows. Recruitment will begin immediately and conclude no later than Friday, June 7, 2013. The U.S. Department of Commerce will review applications and make selection decisions on a rolling basis beginning [at least two weeks after FR notice date of publication] until the maximum of thirty participants is reached. We will inform all applicants of selection decisions as soon as possible after applications are reviewed. Applications received after the June 7th deadline will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit. How To Apply Applications can be downloaded from the trade mission Web site or can be obtained by contacting April Redmon or Leandro Solorzano at the U.S. Department of Commerce (see contact details below.) Completed applications should be submitted to April Redmon or Leandro Solorzano. Contacts U.S. Commercial Service Trade Americas Team: Ms. April Redmon, International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service—Virginia/ Washington, DC, 2800 S. Randolph St., Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22206, Tel: 703–756–1704, Email: April.Redmon@trade.gov. Leandro Solorzano, International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial E:\FR\FM\11MRN1.SGM 11MRN1 15346 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 47 / Monday, March 11, 2013 / Notices Service—Ft. Lauderdale, 1850 Eller Dr., Suite 401, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316, Tel: 954–356–6647, Email: Leandro.Solorzano@trade.gov. U.S. Commercial Service in Colombia: Carlos Suarez, Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service Bogota, Tel: 011–571–275–2690, Email: Carlos.Suarez@trade.gov. of the Department of Transportation (DOT), the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will be invited to participate to provide information and counseling regarding their suite of programs and services in Latin America. Elnora Moye, Trade Program Assistant. Commercial Setting [FR Doc. 2013–05507 Filed 3–8–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–FP–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Secretarial Infrastructure Business Development Mission to Brazil, Colombia and Panama; May 12–18, 2013 International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Mission Description The United States Secretary of Commerce will lead an Infrastructure ˜ Business Development Mission to Sao ´ ´ Paulo and Brasılia, Brazil, Bogota, Colombia and Panama City, Panama from May 12–18, 2013. This business development mission will promote U.S. exports to Brazil, Colombia and Panama by helping U.S. companies’ launch or increase their business for infrastructure markets. The mission will include government and business-to-business meetings, market briefings, and networking events. In all three countries, the governments and private sector are investing significant money in infrastructure projects. As a result, the mission will focus on export-ready U.S. firms in a broad range of leading U.S. infrastructure industrial sectors with an emphasis on project management and engineering services (including construction, architecture and design), transportation (including road/ highways, rail, airports and intelligent transportation systems), energy (including distribution, transmission and smart grid) and safety and security. Companies will have two options to select from when applying for participation in this mission: • Brazil, Colombia and Panama (May 12–18, 2013) • Colombia and Panama (May 14–18, 2013) The delegation will be composed of 20–25 U.S. firms representing the mission’s target sectors. Representatives VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:19 Mar 08, 2013 Jkt 229001 Brazil The Federative Republic of Brazil is Latin America’s biggest economy and is the fifth largest country in the world in terms of land mass and population with about 197 million people and the world’s seventh largest economy. ´ Brasılia is the nation’s capital and seat of government. With almost 20 million ˜ people, Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and Americas, and the world’s seventh largest city by population. It is the country’s economic and financial center and traditional access point for companies entering the Brazilian market. Brazil is the U.S.’s seventh largest export market and eighth largest trading partner. In 2012, U.S. goods exports to Brazil reached nearly $44 billion, 68% above their 2009 level, and our goods trade surplus was over $11 billion. GDP growth was slower than usual at 2.7% in 2011 and around 1% in 2012. Growth slowed due to reduced demand for Brazilian exports in Europe and Asia, despite solid domestic demand and a growing middle class. It is expected to rebound to over 3% in 2013 and 2014. Although there are major export opportunities in Brazil, there are also substantial challenges, including relatively high tariffs with a heavy and complex customs system, tax structure, and regulatory framework. Additionally, U.S. exporters face expanding government involvement in the marketplace to promote the development or preservation of Brazilian industries deemed to be strategic, including increased use of local content and technology transfer requirements. It is essential for U.S. companies to have local representation in Brazil to be able to successfully compete with Brazilian and other international firms. The Growth Acceleration Program, or PAC (Programa de Aceleracao do ¸˜ Crescimento) launched in 2007, laid out investment plans of nearly R$504 billion (US$306 billion) until 2010 to solve many long-overdue infrastructure issues as well as prepare for the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics games for which Brazil PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 expects to invest $12 billion. The PAC 2, released in March of last year, was a continuation of the project that promised infrastructure spending of R$959 billion (US$582 billion) from 2011 to 2014. Infrastructure opportunities for U.S. companies abound, especially in the transportation, energy, environment, ports, and ICT sectors. Colombia Colombia ranks solidly with the group of progressive, industrializing countries worldwide that have diversified agriculture, resources, and productive capacities. Despite the global economic crisis, Colombia’s economic prospects are positive. In 2011, Colombia enjoyed 5.9% GDP growth and was approximately 4% in 2012. Colombia is attracting record amounts of foreign direct investment (FDI), which is further leading to rapid industrial development, necessitating the need for improved infrastructure. In 2011, Colombia attracted $13 billion in FDI, and early estimates come in at $15 billion in 2012. In addition, per capita income continues to grow as Colombia’s middle class has doubled in the past 10 years. Colombia is the third largest market in the region, after Mexico and Brazil, and is ranked 22nd as a market for U.S. exports globally. Over the past 10 years, Colombia has become one of the most stable economies in the region. Improved security, sound government policies, steady economic growth, moderate inflation and a wide range of opportunities make it worthwhile for U.S. exporters to take a serious look at Colombia. ´ Bogota, the capital of Colombia, generates approximately 30% of the ´ country’s total GDP. Bogota offers diverse business opportunities in almost all economic sectors. The overall improvement in the national safety and security situation in Colombia has allowed the Government to focus on improving its infrastructure development, which along with a boom in the extractive industries, has fueled the growth of U.S. exports to Colombia, including opportunities generated by highway, hotel and housing ´ construction in Bogota and coastal cities such as Cartagena and Barranquilla. The Government of Colombia has earmarked $26 billion over the next 4 years for primarily road projects. However, ongoing and future projects exist in airport modernization, sea and river port developments, and rail line upgrades. In addition, most major cities in Colombia are looking for solutions to improve internal transportation, including mass transit. A recently completed USTDA E:\FR\FM\11MRN1.SGM 11MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 47 (Monday, March 11, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 15343-15346]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-05507]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration


Multi-State, Multi-Sector Trade Mission to Colombia; September 9-
12, 2013

AGENCY: International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice.

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Mission Description

    The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade 
Administration, U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS), in 
collaboration with the American Chamber of Commerce in Bogot[aacute], 
is organizing a Trade Mission to Bogot[aacute], Colombia from September 
9-12, 2013. The purpose of this mission is to assist U.S. companies in 
launching or increasing exports of U.S. goods or services to Colombia. 
The mission will include business-to-business matchmaking appointments 
with local companies, as well as market briefings and networking 
events.
    The mission is open to U.S. companies from a cross section of 
industries with growing potential in Colombia, including, but not 
limited to safety and security equipment and services, medical 
equipment, cosmetics, agricultural machinery, and information 
technology.

Commercial Setting

Why Colombia?
    The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA), which entered 
into force on May 15, 2012, creates market opportunities for U.S. firms 
in a number of sectors. The U.S.-Colombia TPA provides duty-free entry 
for over 80 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial exports to 
Colombia, with remaining tariffs to be phased out over the next 10 
years. The U.S.-Colombia TPA also opens the market for remanufactured 
goods and provides greater protection for intellectual property rights 
(IPR). Colombia's traditional acceptance of U.S. brands as well as U.S. 
and international standards provide a solid foundation for U.S. firms 
seeking to do business there.
    Colombia is the third largest market in Latin America, after Mexico 
and Brazil, and is ranked 22nd globally as a market for U.S. exports. 
Over the past 10 years, Colombia has become one of the most stable 
economies in the region. Improved security, sound government policies, 
steady economic growth, moderate inflation and a wide range of 
opportunities make it worthwhile for U.S. exporters to consider 
Colombia as an export destination. With more than 45 million people, an 
improved security environment, an abundance of natural resources, and 
an educated and growing middle-class, business opportunities are 
booming in Colombia. The country's last two governments implemented 
policies that took Colombia on the path to global competitiveness, 
opening it up to global trade and investment for 10 consecutive years. 
Colombia's strong economic growth, moderate inflation rates, and sound 
fiscal policies have made it a haven of stability in a time of economic 
uncertainty. Over the last decade, the country's economy is estimated 
to have grown over 4% on average; inflation was kept in the single 
digits and is expected to remain well within the Central Bank of 
Colombia's 2% to 4% range. Furthermore, the Government's strict fiscal 
discipline led many international credit agencies to improve Colombia's 
credit rating to investment grade for the first time in over 10 years. 
Increasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Colombia demonstrates 
Colombia's rise as a business destination. In 2011, FDI into Colombia 
reached a historic US$13.4 billion from only US$2.4 billion in 2000, a 
fivefold increase in just ten years, with forecasts of continued growth 
through the next five years.
    By 2011, Colombia's total international trade surpassed US$111 
billion, exports reached US$56 billion while imports reached a historic 
US$55 billion. After implementing free trade agreements (FTAs) with the 
United States and with Canada, Colombia continues to move aggressively 
in opening up to trade, seeking to quickly implement FTAs negotiated 
with the European Union and South Korea, as well as moving ahead in 
negotiations with countries such as Japan, Turkey, Costa Rica and 
Israel.
Best Prospects for U.S. Companies
Safety and Security Industry
    The safety and security market in Colombia is a very dynamic 
sector, growing at an estimated rate of 5 to 10% per year. It is also 
estimated that the total Colombian budget for defense is US$10 billion 
in 2012 (close to 6% of GDP). The Colombian government is investing 
heavily in intelligence equipment and services. Market opportunities 
exist for safety and security industry products such as CCTV cameras, 
telephones for security, reproduction and record devices for security, 
data processing equipment, radio transmission, biometric equipment, and 
communication jammers, among others. Opportunities exist in the defense 
sector for helicopters and fixed wing parts and maintenance services, 
unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) 
and mine detectors, modern communication systems (MCS), IT-structure 
platforms, marine and coastal surveillance systems and logistics 
software solutions and applications, among others. The U.S.-Colombia 
TPA reduced tariffs for a wide variety of products and services in the 
safety and security industries.
Medical Equipment
    Strong opportunities exist for exports of medical equipment and 
other health industry-related products and services to Colombia. 
Following the entry into force of the U.S.-Colombia TPA, approximately 
98% of all U.S. medical equipment imports into Colombia are subject to 
zero tariffs. U.S. imports enjoy the largest share of the local market, 
accounting for around a third of all medical equipment imports. 
Currently,

[[Page 15344]]

the strongest competitors are companies from Germany and Japan, and 
companies from China are quickly increasing their market share. The 
best approach to enter into this market is through distributors.
    In 2011, Colombia imported medical equipment & supplies valued at 
US$985 million, their highest ever level. A few multinationals 
manufacture in the country. The medical device industry is concentrated 
around the capital Bogot[aacute]. Per capita spending on medical 
devices is average for the region.
    According to a 2012 study by America Economia Intelligence, seven 
of the twenty best hospitals and clinics in Latin America are located 
in Colombia, including: Hospital Fundacion Santa Fe in Bogota (4th 
place); and Fundacion Valle del Lili in Cali, Fundacion Cardioinfantil 
in Bogota, and Fundacion Cardiovascular de Colombia in Bucaramanga 
(7th, 8th, and 9th place, respectively).
Cosmetics
    Colombia is the fifth largest market for cosmetics in Latin 
America, following Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela. The 
estimated market size in 2010 was US$ 6.2 million. Local production of 
cosmetics, toiletries, and personal hygiene products has been growing 
on an average of 4.4% since 2003. Local production reached US$2.7 
million in 2010.
    The Colombian cosmetic market is attractive for U.S. companies for 
various reasons:
     Highest rate of females in the workplace in Latin America. 
Female participation in the labor force is 44.6% (2007) in Colombia. 
Women's participation in the labor market has increased over 11% in the 
past five years;
     Use of free trade zones for cosmetic and toiletry 
products, with corporate tax benefits;
     Convenient geographic location as a global export hub;
     Zero tariffs on many U.S. products in the cosmetic sector.
Agricultural Equipment
    Colombia is the 18th largest market for U.S. agricultural equipment 
exports. The U.S.-Colombia TPA provided immediate tariff reduction to 
0% from 10% on combines, to 0% from 15% on tractors, and reductions on 
other equipment. The U.S.-Colombia TPA eliminated Colombia's 
restrictions on the importation of remanufactured goods, and the 
Government of Colombia is encouraging farmers to participate in lease 
programs. The agricultural equipment sector accounted for nearly US$19 
million in U.S. exports to Colombia over 2008-10 (average) or less than 
1 percent of total U.S. industrial exports to Colombia. Colombia has 
been a net food importer because food production was disrupted by the 
unstable security environment. With improved security, areas that had 
gone unfarmed for prolonged periods are now producing, and the 
agricultural sector in Colombia is likely to continue to grow without 
affecting natural forests. Barely 8% of the potential arable land is 
effectively used. The availability of water resources in Colombia is 
among the highest in the world with nearly 45,202 cubic meters per 
capita per year which exceeds the South American average and is 
significantly higher than other regions in North America, Europe and 
Asia. The Government of Colombia is developing policies to incentivize 
the agriculture sector in Colombia, which, if carried out, will lead to 
opportunities for U.S. exporters of agricultural equipment.
Information Technology
    Colombia's IT sector has been experiencing very dynamic growth due 
to government investment in infrastructure, expanding connectivity 
throughout the country, and transitioning it from being a hardware-
demand driven market to a market that incorporates more value-added IT 
spending. The Ministry of Information Technology and Communications' 
(MinTIC) is halfway through its broadband expansion plan called Vive 
Digital, which seeks to provide connectivity to 8 million Colombians 
throughout the entire country by 2014. While all of the major bids for 
this process are in the execution phase, the new connectivity 
environment is very likely to drive up demand for services by 
households and businesses, which will seek to take advantage of 
expanded Internet access.
    With the expected continuation of an advancing Colombian economy, 
the establishment of new businesses in the country should continue and 
even increase, particularly as Colombia moves forward in the 
implementation of the Free Trade Agreements it has negotiated. This 
trend should sustain the demand for hardware and software equipment. 
Additionally, as local companies continue to grow in size and scope of 
operations, they too are expected to strengthen their IT capabilities 
with investments in data centers and Customer Relationship Management 
Solutions, as well as IT Risk Services.
    Major government programs led by new entities such as iNNpulsa, are 
allocating funds for technology modernization programs geared towards 
small and medium companies, which make up more than 90% of all 
Colombian businesses, and have been found to have very low rates of 
technology penetration and connectivity. This, in combination with a 
reduction in tariffs and taxes, particularly for new equipment such as 
computers and tablets, demonstrates significant opportunities for U.S. 
exporters in the IT industries.
Other Products and Services
    The foregoing analysis of the above industry sectors in Colombia is 
not intended to be exhaustive, but illustrative of the many 
opportunities available to U.S. businesses. Applications from companies 
selling products or services generally within the scope of this mission 
will be considered and evaluated by the U.S. Department of Commerce. 
Companies whose products or services do not fit the scope of the 
mission may contact their local U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) 
to learn about other business development missions and export promotion 
services that may provide more targeted export opportunities. Companies 
may call 1-800-872-8723, or go to http://help.export.gov/ to obtain 
such information. This information also may be found on the Web site: 
http://www.export.gov.

Mission Goals

    The goal of the trade mission to Colombia is to help participating 
firms gain market insights, make industry contacts, solidify business/
sector strategies, and advance specific projects, with the goal of 
increasing U.S. exports to Colombia. Participants will have access to 
the US&FCS Senior Commercial Officer in Bogot[aacute] and to US&FCS 
Commercial Specialists during the mission. They will learn about the 
many business opportunities in Colombia, and gain first-hand market 
exposure. Participants already doing business in Colombia will have 
opportunities to further advance business relationships and projects in 
that market. U.S. companies new to Colombia will gain support in 
finding agents, distributors, and joint venture partners through this 
mission, laying the foundation for successful long-term ventures by 
providing business-to-business introductions and market access 
information.

Mission Scenario

    The mission will stop in Bogot[aacute], Colombia. Participants will 
meet with pre-screened potential agents,

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distributors, and representatives, as well as other business partners 
and government officials. They will also attend market briefings by 
U.S. Embassy officials and networking events offering further 
opportunities to speak with local business and industry decision-
makers.

                                               Proposed Time Table
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monday, September 9, 2013, Bogota,         Arrival.
 Colombia.                                 Market Briefing.
                                           Networking reception.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013, Bogota,       Matchmaking appointments and/or site visits.
 Colombia.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013, Bogota,     Matchmaking appointments.
 Colombia.
Thursday, September 12, 2013, Bogota,      Depart.
 Colombia.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Participation Requirements

    All parties interested in participating in the Trade Mission to 
Colombia must complete and submit an application package for 
consideration by the Department of Commerce. All applicants will be 
evaluated on their ability to meet certain conditions and best satisfy 
the selection criteria as outlined below. A minimum of 15 and a maximum 
of 30 U.S. companies will be selected to participate in the mission 
from the applicant pool on a first-come, first-served basis. U.S. 
companies already doing business with Colombia, as well as U.S. 
companies seeking to enter this market for the first time, may apply.

Fees and Expenses

    After a company has been selected to participate on the mission, a 
payment to the Department of Commerce in the form of a participation 
fee is required.
     The participation fee will be US$1,995 for a small or 
medium-sized enterprise (SME) \1\ and US$3,040 for a large firm
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ An SME is defined as a firm with 500 or fewer employees or 
that otherwise qualifies as a small business under SBA regulations 
(see http://www.sba.gov/services/contractingopportunities/sizestandardstopics/index.html). Parent companies, affiliates, and 
subsidiaries will be considered when determining business size. The 
dual pricing reflects the Commercial Service's user fee schedule 
that became effective May 1, 2008 (see http://www.export.gov/newsletter/march2008/initiatives.html for additional information).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The fee for each additional representative is US$450.
     Expenses for travel to and from the mission, lodging, most 
meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each mission 
participant.

Intergovernmental Cooperation and Assistance for Small Businesses

    The U.S. Small Business Administration is partnering with State 
trade organizations to promote increased trade and exporting through 
the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program. As part of this 
program, some States are offering financial assistance for U.S. small 
businesses to assist them in pursuing export opportunities, such as 
through participation on a Department of Commerce trade mission. Small 
businesses interested in more information about the STEP in their State 
are encouraged to contact their State STEP representative (contact 
information available by clicking on the interactive map at 
www.sba.gov/step) to learn more about the resources and assistance 
offered by their State trade organization.

Conditions of Participation

     An applicant must submit a completed and signed mission 
application and supplemental application materials, including adequate 
information on the company's products and/or services primary market 
objectives, and goals for participation. If the Department of Commerce 
receives an incomplete application, the Department may reject the 
application, request additional information, or take the lack of 
information into account when evaluating the applications.
     Each applicant must also certify that the products and 
services it seeks to export through the mission are either produced in 
the United States, or, if not, marketed under the name of a U.S. firm 
and have at least fifty-one percent U.S. content.

Selection Criteria for Participation

    Selection will be based on the following criteria, listed in 
decreasing order of importance:
     Suitability of the company's products or services for the 
Colombian market
     Company's potential for business in Colombia, including 
likelihood of exports resulting from the mission
     Consistency of the applicant's goals and objectives with 
the stated scope of the trade mission
    Referrals from political organizations and any documents containing 
references to partisan political activities (including political 
contributions) will be removed from an applicant's submission and not 
considered during the selection process.

Timeframe for Recruitment and Applications

    Mission recruitment will be conducted in an open and public manner, 
including publication in the Federal Register, posting on the U.S. 
Department of Commerce trade mission calendar (www.export.gov/trademissions) and other Internet Web sites, press releases to general 
and trade media, notices by industry trade associations and other 
multiplier groups, and publicity at industry meetings, symposia, 
conferences, and trade shows.
    Recruitment will begin immediately and conclude no later than 
Friday, June 7, 2013. The U.S. Department of Commerce will review 
applications and make selection decisions on a rolling basis beginning 
[at least two weeks after FR notice date of publication] until the 
maximum of thirty participants is reached. We will inform all 
applicants of selection decisions as soon as possible after 
applications are reviewed. Applications received after the June 7th 
deadline will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints 
permit.

How To Apply

    Applications can be downloaded from the trade mission Web site or 
can be obtained by contacting April Redmon or Leandro Solorzano at the 
U.S. Department of Commerce (see contact details below.) Completed 
applications should be submitted to April Redmon or Leandro Solorzano.

Contacts

U.S. Commercial Service

    Trade Americas Team: Ms. April Redmon, International Trade 
Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service--Virginia/Washington, DC, 2800 S. 
Randolph St., Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22206, Tel: 703-756-1704, Email: 
April.Redmon@trade.gov.
    Leandro Solorzano, International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial

[[Page 15346]]

Service--Ft. Lauderdale, 1850 Eller Dr., Suite 401, Fort Lauderdale, FL 
33316, Tel: 954-356-6647, Email: Leandro.Solorzano@trade.gov.
    U.S. Commercial Service in Colombia: Carlos Suarez, Commercial 
Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service Bogota, Tel: 011-571-275-2690, 
Email: Carlos.Suarez@trade.gov.

Elnora Moye,
Trade Program Assistant.
[FR Doc. 2013-05507 Filed 3-8-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-FP-P