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Costa Rican exporters look to increase sales at international fair

Local business owners will be seeking to expand their sales in the international market at the next Buyers Trade Mission 2015 to be held Sep. 22-25 at the Wyndham Herradura Hotel in Heredia province.

Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER) organizes the business fair that will bring together negotiators from 300 Costa Rican companies wanting to promote their products among 200 buyers from 35 countries in Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Most participating companies are small and medium-sized enterprises, and nearly a quarter of them come from rural areas. The products come mainly from the agricultural sector and the food industry but industrial products also will be on display.

PROCOMER Promotion Manager Álvaro Piedra says the previous 16 editions of the Buyers Trade Mission helped exporters close new contracts and also diversify and keep customers in the long term. “These kind of customers represent a key success factor for small and medium-sized businesses,” he said.

The official schedule for the event includes two days of business meetings during which local entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to promote their products to foreign potential buyers. It also includes lectures, a product exhibit area and an area exclusively for companies authorized to use the “essential Costa Rica” country brand.

There will also be a space called Virtual Buyers Trade Mission where 15 buyers from eight countries will meet with local exporters through videoconferencing.

The list of buyers looking for business opportunities this year includes e-commerce giants Amazon and Alibaba. The Mexican Association of Online Sales and Chile’s Vive Descuentos Farox will also participate.

Last year’s event generated some $60 million in contracts, up from the $58 million during the 2013 edition, according to PROCOMER.

The agricultural sector accounted for 53 percent of contracts last year, followed by the food industry with 31 percent.

Piedra said the main products traded last year included bananas, watermelons, pineapples, organic pineapples, pineapple concentrate, tubers, passion fruit pulp, frozen meat, liquid milk, powdered milk, wood, packaging and glass bottle blowing machines.

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

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