On 14 March 2019 UNIDO held the closing ceremony of a project, which for 3 years worked towards the development of export consortia in the agro-industry and cosmetics sectors in Valle de Cauca, Colombia. With a total funding of USD 1 million from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the project successfully established 5 export consortia, which comprise 20 MSMEs and more than 1,000 workers (41% women). Participating companies achieved certification in standards such as GMP, ISO 22716, or Global GAP, and realized 346 joint exports of a value of USD 860,000 to 11 countries (including also demanding markets such as EU, US or Hong Kong). The technical assistance provided to the firms in groups also enhanced their individual trade capacities, demonstrated by 265 individual exports for more than USD 4 million. The overall increase in employment in assisted companies between 2017 and 2019 was 18.8%.
In order to give sustainability to the actions and enable a replication of the results achieved in this pilot, UNIDO organized 18 training workshops and elaborated a methodological guide for ProColombia (the national export and investment promotion agency), the Productive Transformation Programme (PTP) and the City Government of Cali to build their capacities. As a response, these institutions launched three new consortia initiatives, which were supported by the UNIDO team during their initial stages. Following this, ProColombia officially included the consortia programme into its service portfolio. During 2018, ProColombia launched 9 new consortia and is planning to add 25 new ones in 2019, thus ensuring upscaling and sustainability of the UNIDO pioneering project.
For more information: Mr. Fabio Russo (F.Russo [at] unido.org) or Mr. Juan Pablo Diaz Castillo (J.Diaz-Castillo [at] unido.org)