Orange County Government, Florida
Laureen Martinez, Communications Division Assistant Manager
(407) 836-5301 or Laureen.Martinez@ocfl.net
28 August 2012
Mayor Jacobs’ Trade Mission to Colombia with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando a Success

Orange County, FL – Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs’ trade mission to Colombia with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO) involved several key meetings with industry leaders interested in doing business with Central Florida.

The trade mission, organized by the HCCMO, aimed to promote commerce and business opportunities between Orange County and Colombia, and capitalized on the recently signed Free Trade Agreement between both nations. Mayor Jacobs was accompanied by chamber representatives of Central Florida’s construction, manufacturing, legal and real estate services, aviation and hospitality industries, as well as community partners which included the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, the University of Central Florida, Visit Orlando, and Port Canaveral.

“I consider last week’s trade mission a great success and I attribute a large part of that to our great partnership with the HCCMO. Together, we have taken our branding message of promoting Central Florida as the best place to do business, while helping our local companies grow, to an international audience,” said Mayor Jacobs.

While in Bogota, Mayor Jacobs hosted a “Doing Business with Central Florida” seminar for an audience of more than 50 Colombian company representatives. As a result, El Tiempo Newspaper interviewed the Mayor and expressed an interest in developing a partnership to promote trade between Colombia and Central Florida. Mayor Jacobs and El Tiempo committed to working together to host a Central Florida branding initiative through a series of articles and events.

The Mayor also conducted meetings with executives of several companies interested in entering the U.S. market through Central Florida. Mayor Jacobs and members of the delegation sat down with representatives from Empresas Públicas de Medellin, several large chambers of commerce, one of the largest commercial textile and apparel companies in Colombia, and other companies in the pharma and manufacturing industries.

“This was a unique occasion to develop commerce opportunities between our diverse chamber delegation and Colombian businesses. Our delegation had over 30 business meetings and presentations. The potential economic impact to Central Florida could be over $100 million, including significant participation from Colombian businesses in the 20th annual Hispanic Business and Consumer Expo next April,” said Ramon Ojeda, President of the HCCMO. Mayor Jacobs also visited Colombia's White House, the Palacio de Nariño, and had the honor of meeting President Juan Manuel Santos and had private meetings with several other Colombian dignitaries. The trip concluded with the signing of a sister region agreement with the Governor of the Department of Quindío, Sandra Paola Hurtado Palacio.

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About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its citizens and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world famous theme parks, the nation’s second largest convention center, and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners including the Mayor who is elected countywide. For more information please visit www.OCFL.net or go to the Orange County facebook and twitter pages.