Past Events in Central America & Abroad

6-8 MArch 2019

Ecotech congress 2019

Ecotech congress 2019 brings together academics, businesses and local governments to discuss and explore the latest solutions to tackle sustainability issues that municipalities face. The congress will take place in the Gran Karmel Center in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. The congress is sponsored by the Swedish Embasssy in Guatemala.

Please find additional information at www.ecotech.usac.edu.gt

The GIS brought together investors, international business leaders as well as entrepreneurs from different parts of the world.

 

Website

Expo Invest Panama

Expo Invest targets companies, individuals and businesses seeking opportunities in public and private sectors, development of commercial and tourist areas, financial management services as well as for people looking for bargains on private investment, education or residence abroad.

 

www.expoinvestpanama.com

Latin America World Business Forum

On September 10th 2014, Guatemala will host the "LATIN AMERICA WORLD BUSINESS FORUM 2014".

 

This Latin American event focuses on business opportunities and developments for the entire region. The objectives are to gather the main actors of industry, state officials and representatives of international organizations to exchange best practices, experiences and development models that have been successfully applied in the competitive strengthening of the region: also, to identify and acknowledge best-in-class examples of state - private alliances for the industrialization and development of Latin America.

 

For further information about the program and registration, please see the following links:


www.worldbusinessforumaila.com

www.manufexport.com.gt

Apr 30, 2014

Annual General Meeting of Euracen, Brussels

SWECA representative Tomas A Hammar reports:

 

"On the invitation by the President of Euracen (Chamber of Commerce Europe - Central America), Mr. Christian Meeùs, I was invited to attend the Annual General Meeting in Brussels, as Per Sondén, the President of SWECA could not make it.

 

Euracen was founded in 1990 and will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year. It was no doubt our model when we established SWECA in 2008. Small financial resources had us focusing on arranging events to spread experience about how to do business between Sweden and Central America.

 

The AGM of Euracen was well attended at the Hotel Bristol Stephanie, which is well located at Avenue Louise in Brussels. Well over 30 members did participate of which five ambassadors from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

 

It was most interesting to note that a similar chamber with focus on Central America has been established in London recently with the name The Central American Business Council (UK). Mr. Chris Bennet is the Deputy Managing Director and the website of the organization is www.caribbean-council.org. They have about 20 members of which most of them are large companies, paying membership fees of about 400 Euros p.a.

 

The AGM took 1,5 hours and the President went through all the some 30 events that Euracen had arranged during the past year, which is most impressive. If somebody would like to study the passed events, please let me know as I have the list.

 

During the AGM there were two cooperation agreements signed between Euracen and the Ministry of Foreign Affaires of Belgium through the present head of Latin America. The other agreement was established between Euracen and the new British Chamber. As Mr. Meeùs resigned as President after more than 10 years in that position he was cordially thanked by various board members and was also appointed an Honorary President of Euracen. A new board was elected with 11 members who are deciding between themselves what kind of position they will hold within the board.

 

We were informed that Euracen had arranged a gala dinner party for the members at which donations of USD 40.000 were given to buy filter equipment for cleaning the water. Those filters have a life time of some 6 years and prevent the consumers from getting various infections. Organisations in El Salvador and Honduras are distributing them to families in a strong need of the filters. Most of the funds did come from corporate members with deep pockets. Is this something for SWECA to consider?

 

The balance of Euracen showed assets of some 40.000 Euro, which means that they have a much more solid base to act from than SWECA. Euracen has about 40 members of which most of them are large companies. The import of coffee from CA is a dominant sector where Christian Meeùs has over 30 years of experience and could be a useful source for our members within the coffee sector. He has excellent connections with most of the top politicians in Central America and is the hon. Consul of Honduras in Belgium.

 

Euracen covered my stay at the Hotel Bristol Stephanie as well as the dinner following the AGM, which was most generous."

Sep 20-21, 2013

"The Chamber of Commerce of Panama, with almost 30 years of experience organizing international exhibitions, and the Chamber of Tourism of Panama, which knows the tourism sector and has the ideal contacts in this field, join their strengths to bring you the second version of Expo Turismo INITERNACIONAL. Use this wonderful opportunity to establish interesting business contacts. As an exhibitor, you will meet wholesalers dedicated to the promotion of tourism in our region, tour operators and congress organizers, among others. As a visitor, you will see under one roof the entire tourism offer that Panama has to show, as well as other neighboring countries."

Sep 19-21

"EXPO LOGISTICA PANAMA is directed to executive and professional staff of companies in general, seaports, air ports, air and land transport, cargo movement, universities, freight, storage warehouse, import and export companies, among others. EXPO LOGISTICA Panama is the ideal site to meet business contacts and update about the last trends on logistics matters."

May 30-31, 2013

Guatemala Investment Summit, Guatemala City

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The Guatemala Investment Summit was successfully organized by the Chamber of Industry of Guatemala (CIG), the Ministry of Economy, Invest in Guatemala, and the Government of Guatemala. Over 2 000 delegates, of which 350 were international delegates from 27 countries, participated in the event at the Hotel Westin Camino Real in Guatemala City. More than 164 investment projects were presented and about 800 meetings between investors took place.

 
Read the full report by Margareta N. Eidensten, Honorary Consul of Guatemala in Stockholm and Advisor at SWECA.
 
Download all presentation here.

May 29, 2013

Exporting to Sweden and the European Union, Guatemala City

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Report by Margareta Eidensten

 
The seminar was organized by The National Board of Trade/Open Trade Gate Sweden, Embassy of Sweden in Guatemala and Agexport (The Export Association of Guatemala). Over 100 companies from Guatemala attended the seminar “Exporting to Sweden and the European Union”. The event was oversubscribed and a waiting list had to be managed by Agexport.
 
The seminar was opened by Lic. Estuardo Castillo, President of Agexport and Sweden’s Ambassador Michael Fruehling. Lic. Castillo pointed out that Guatemala’s export to Sweden is still very modest and that we should aim for more. He said that IKEA was created in the 1950’s and has developed into a world success: this should be an example for Guatemalan companies to aim for. He also talked about the importance of educating the farmers in this agricultural country and that the “educated woman is the key to development”. Ambassador Michael Fruehling mentioned that the Swedish Embassy has been present in the country since the 1930’s and that there is a potential for developing international trade in both directions.
 
Mrs. Sonia Albarello, Executive Director of Open Trade Gate Sweden, presented the commercial policy of the European Union and stressed the fact that the EU is composed of 27 different countries in varying development stages which use 21 different languages. Open Trade Gate Sweden (OTGS- www.opentradegate.se), which is financed by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, is a service free of charge for small and medium sized companies (“PYMES”) in developing countries and a center of information for rules, norms and regulations, with the purpose of facilitating trade with Sweden. A lot of useful information about different economic sectors and industries can be found at www.chambertradesweden.se/reports.
 
Mr. Daniel Karlsson, Consultant with long experience from ICA (one of the Nordic region’s leading retailers in grocery with 2,400 of its own and retailer-owned stores in five geographic markets) presented the Swedish market for imports of Guatemalan products. ICA has a 50% market share in Sweden, the rest is split mainly between COOP, Findus and Axfood. His presentation covered “the three P’s of CSR: people, planet and profit”, product classifications according to the EU general rules and regulations, rules of origin, technical regulations, general conditions, documentation, as well as specific products such as textiles, coffee, vegetables, etc. Besides giving practical advice, he recommended some useful websites such as www.kemi.se about prohibited chemical substances and www.exporthelp.europa.eu.
 
Mr. Gerardo Alberto De León, FEDECOCAGUA, provided a fascinating insight into more than 30 years as a coffee exporter and gave examples of cultural peculiarities when dealing with Swedish businessmen.
Mrs. Margareta Eidensten, SWECA presentation was divided in three parts:
  • introduction of SWECA,
  • how to do business in Sweden and
  • the potential for tourism from Sweden to Guatemala.
First, she made a brief introduction of the background and vision of SWECA. She then presented the Matchmaking Service, pointing at the advantages: useful both for exporters to Sweden and importers from Sweden at a very low cost and by using a single form which can be accessed through SWECA’s website.  The companies were encouraged to use the form and send it to info@SWECA.se.
 
Following the intercultural part, she presented some statistical information about outbound tourism from the European Union to the world and particularly to the developing countries. The major trends were discussed, such as demographic changes with aging population, increased use of Internet, effects of economic setbacks in the EU, the profile of the Swedish tourist, purchasing patterns, preferred destinations and types of travels, structure of the travel industry in Sweden, possible Swedish cooperation partners for tour operators or travel agencies in Guatemala. She finalized by offering a list of suggestions for increasing the visibility of Guatemala as a touristic destination in Sweden. It may be interesting to know that of the 1,8 million tourists which visited Guatemala in 2011, only 173,000 were from Europe and of these, only 3,770 tourists from Sweden.
 
The seminar was concluded with a Q&A session in which many questions from the audience were discussed and clarified. After a short luncheon break, the day continued with individual consultations between the seminar participants and the speakers.

May 27, 2013

Exporting to Sweden, San Salvador, El Salvador

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The Swedish Central American Chamber of Commerce, through its Executive Coordinator Rodrigo Ernesto Gómez, participated in the seminar “Exporting to Sweden”, arranged by COEXPORT, The Embassy of Sweden to the Central American Countries and Open Trade Gate Sweden, on Monday the 27th of May, attended by 30 local companies.

 
The event was inaugurated by the Swedish Ambassador to El Salvador, H.E. Mr. Michael Frühling, who, as in his speech in Stockholm last November in an event organized by SWECA at the premises of Business Sweden, made emphasis on the possibilities offered to companies looking for new business partners by the Association Agreement between the EU and Central America, as soon as it is ratified.
 
Following the Ambassador, Mrs. Silvia Cuéllar, Executive Director of COEXPORT, encouraged the participants to broaden their market perception and include Sweden in their plans for expansion.
 
The Swedish Experts at the event were Mrs. Sonia Albarello, representing Open Trade Gate Sweden, who described the possible effects of the Association Agreement, focusing on the Free Trade section of the Agreement in detail, as well as giving some examples of products and the legal requirements that those would have meet as to enter the Swedish Market. Mr. Daniel Karlsson, Senior Consultant, focused on trends and behavior of the Swedish Market, also focusing on concrete examples.
 
The final speech was delivered by Mr. Rodrigo Ernesto Gómez, Executive Coordinator of SWECA and Minister Counsellor of the Embassy of El Salvador in Sweden, who made a presentation of the characteristics of the Swedish Market, what preparations an exporting company should think about before embarking on a exporting venue, as well as some tips on Business Culture in Sweden.
 
The speech by Mr. Gómez was concluded by giving a brief history of the Chamber, also inviting the companies present to visit the webpage of SWECA and use the match-making services offered as to find potential business partners in Sweden.
 
This event received also coverage in one of the two biggest newspapers in the country, El Diario de Hoy. The article (in spanish) can be found here.
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