The United States and Europe are the largest international participants at Expoartesanias 2013

The United States and Europe are the largest international participants at Expoa
The event will host 61 buyers from 23 different countries invited by PROCOLOMBIA, of which half of them have never purchased Colombian products. 

They are looking for all kinds of products. Handmade accessories with organic and natural materials, for example, backpacks, hammocks, ceramics, hats, rugs and tableware.

61 international buyers are attending Expoartesanias 2013 invited by PROCOLOMBIA and the Chamber of Commerce. They are looking for objects that are able to tell stories and reflect the Colombian culture in their designs and ornamentation.

"Colombian handicrafts are recognized in the marketplace for its quality and because they are in many ways unique. In addition they foster fair trade, one of the main requirements of markets such as the United States and Europe thus becoming essential for many buyers this time around" said Maria Claudia Lacouture, president of PROCOLOMBIA.

The largest number of buyers come from the United States totaling 20 entrepreneurs. 24 companies represent Europe including France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Italy, UK, Austria, Belgium, Portugal and Switzerland.

Buyers for the Dominican Republic, Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Australia, Barbados, Chile, Costa Rica, China, Panama, Puerto Rico and Russia are also expected to attend.

According to Lacouture, global recognition is palpable as new international buyers are attending Expoartesanias". 30 out of the 61 buyers have never attended the tradeshow and this represents new business opportunities for domestic producers".

Among these participating companies is OXFAM, which has 20 stores in Australia and works with 60 companies around the world promoting fair trade. Also The Conran Shop from the United Kingdom – a home luxury goods specialist - will also attend. The German distributor Globo Fair Trade Partner, the company Home Autour du Monde from France and Creative Clay from the U.S will also participate.

Opportunities in 25 markets

PROCOLOMBIA has identified business opportunities in at least 25 markets: Germany, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, The United States, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Nigeria, New Zealand, Panama, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

The wooden handicrafts are in great demand in Germany where they value doing business with companies that have the fair trade label. The combination of wood with other materials such as metal, glass and ceramics, can generate added value to customers.

Moreover, in the United States handicrafts have resonated with the use of handbags with handles, with genuine clothing fabrics and wood products for the home.

The French seek authentic handicrafts from the region of origin, so it is noteworthy to show that products are truly Colombian. They also value those products that have a history of the community or the region it comes from so it is always advisable to include such labeling.

And in Japan handicraft lovers are sometimes collectors or frequent travelers that are knowledgeable and are able to appreciate the design, quality and finishing of the products. They are art-driven and value products that are handmade and have sustainable raw materials. They are interested in buying indigenous crafts whenever there is a story behind the product.

Ventana