In addition, US$98 million in business is projected for the coming months. Nearly 300 entrepreneurs from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru participated in the virtual meetings, thus ending the special support plan to replace face-to-face promotional activities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

October 8th, 2020. As announced last May, and as a way to seek new business opportunities for the Pacific Alliance entrepreneurs in the face of the health, humanitarian and commercial difficulties that the COVID-19 pandemic has generated, the bloc’s promotion entities -ProChile, ProColombia, the Mexican Ministry of Economy and PROMPERU- organized three virtual business roundtables with European, Latin American, Oceania and Asian buyers between June and September.

The e-Business roundtables started in June with importers from the United Kingdom. During August it was the turn of the commercial activity with the countries of the Pacific Alliance and Central America, to conclude with the largest meeting in terms of volume of participants and results, with buyers from Asia, Oceania and the Middle East.

As a final result of these unprecedented meetings, total deals were registered for US$ 105 million for the exporters of the four countries. This is the result of immediate agreements (reached at the same meeting) for US$ 6.4 million, as well as 12-month business projections for US$ 98.6 million.

“We are very satisfied with the results obtained, far exceeding our initial expectations. The Pacific Alliance is a powerful and internationally prestigious commercial platform, which allows our exporters to access buyers with the support of the bloc. As an alliance, we have been forced to adapt quickly, generating concrete actions to push the economic reactivation of Chile and our partners in the region” said the General Director of ProChile, Jorge O’Ryan Schütz.

For her part, the President of ProColombia, Flavia Santoro, indicated that “these virtual business meetings are fundamental to energize intraregional trade, reactivate the economies of our countries and continue positioning ourselves in key markets such as the United Kingdom, Central America, Asia and Oceania. The result reflects the world’s interest in learning about the value offerings of the Pacific Alliance. We will closely follow the business intentions generated by these appointments to make them a reality.

A total of 276 exporters from Chile (54), Colombia (71), Mexico (70) and Peru (81) participated in the meeting, all of them belonging to the food sector (fruits, vegetables, wines and beverages, grains, or sea products), health supplies and pharmaceutical products, containers and packaging, furniture and components for construction, among others; which, through 100% online tools, managed to hold more than a thousand business meetings.

On the Mexican side, Sergio Silva Castañeda, head of the Global Economic Intelligence Unit of the Ministry of Economy, commented that: “From Mexico we are very happy with the results of the three e-Roundtables. The virtual format allowed to increase the number of participating companies, target markets and business expectations compared to 2019, drastically reducing costs and limiting the impact of the pandemic. Mexico also granted all the available quotas for the country, in the three e-Roundtables organized, exclusively to MSMEs, to contribute directly to their incorporation into global markets and their economic recovery”

“In the current juncture the world is facing, the four promotion entities quickly took on the challenge of adapting to new digital tools and carrying out activities that contribute to improving the international business of our companies, mainly small and medium-sized ones. The results achieved regarding the number of participating Peruvian exporters, the meetings held, as well as the projections of commercial opportunities, fill us with satisfaction and only reinforce our commitment to continue articulating efforts to achieve growth and competitiveness of our economies,” said the Executive President of PROMPERU, Luis Torres.

This activity was created as a way to help the exporting companies of the bloc that have been affected by the disruption of international trade due to COVID-19 and its advance around the world. Originally, by 2020, the VIII Pacific Alliance Business Macro-Round was planned to be held in Santiago, Chile, but it was replaced by these virtual activities.

As a complement, the e-Roundtables included training spaces prior to the negotiation rounds where the bloc’s entrepreneurs were able to be trained by experts in key aspects such as: market access, cross-border e-commerce and sustainability. These matters are especially relevant in the process of reactivating the economies of the region.

Adjustments to the mission

The Promotion Entities make up one of the 26 technical groups within the working structure of the Pacific Alliance and through their mission they lead the joint promotion plan of this regional integration initiative in multiple aspects.

For 2020, this group received a presidential mandate to develop a promotion plan focusing on sustainable trade, services and industries 4.0, as well as to promote the internationalization of business innovation in member countries and with Observer States. Because of the pandemic, it had to be adapted to the new circumstances in order to meet these objectives.

In order to deepen these actions for the coming months, the group will hold from November 30th to December 4th the LAB4+ Entrepreneurship and Innovation Forum with a business roundtable dedicated especially to the Services sector, as well as a pitch round for startups from the four countries, all in virtual format.