The Republic of Colombia is located in the North-West of South America and is connected to the Caribbean Sea in the North and the Pacific Ocean in the West. Its neighbouring countries are Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Panama. Colombia is doing economically well,has implemented economic reforms and is currently one of the economic top performers of Latin America. Government policies are conducive to free- trade and exports and Trade is promoted through measures such as the prioritization of strategic partners and institutional, policy and regulatory adjustments. Colombia has already signed or is negotiating F|'As with a number of countries, including the EU.
The sectors were pre-selected together with PROEXPORT and analysed in depth through a VCA. They represent sectors that offer opportunities in the European market and increasing European demand. All the sectors are also policy priorities of the Colombian Government, sufficient potential SME participants were identified in each of the sectors, and none of the sectors constitute unacceptable CSR-related image risks for CBI. On the contrary, the selected offer ample opportunities for CBI to further and promote CSR practices. Finally, the selected sectors will allow CBI to make an impact on poverty reduction and reduction of regional (urban-rural) inequality in Colombia The programme will consist of 6 projects, one for each sector. Each sectorial project will work at two levels simultaneously (1) at micro/company level, supporting participating companies in their preparation and European market entry efforts, and addressing company-level constraints and bottlenecks and (2) at meso/sector level, where sector-specific bottlenecks will be addressed. From the start of the programme CBI will involve EU importers in order to match them to the participating companies and to gather valuable input from the market to assist in the preparation and market entry of participating SMEs. Various (generic and sector specific) BSOs will be involved
in the implementation of the programme These partners will enable CBI to implement the programme effectively as the partners will support in promotion of the programme and selecting those companies that have a high potential. Furthermore, the programme can be implemented efficiently because certain activities will be implemented and/or financed by these local partners. Implementing the programme with local partners will also ensure that knowledge and skills will beavailable at BSO/sectoral level for the benefit of the wider sector, beyond the participating
The programme should lead to 13,75 million worth of additional European exports for some 60 participating companies. The integrated programme design combines different CBI modules, thus making maximum use of CBI's strengths.