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¡Hola Colombia!

New Koelnmesse subsidiary in Colombia

The new subsidiary of Koelnmesse in Bogotá, Colombia was officially opened on Alimentec.

Koelnmesse founded its Colombian subsidiary Koelnmesse SAS in May 2018 to tap into new markets. We spoke with Managing Director, Christian Guarin, about the company’s structure, potentials and goals.

You have headed the new Colombian subsidiary since 1 June 2018. What did you do before that?

Christian Guarin: The trade fair business and internationality have always fascinated me! I studied in Spain and also did my traineeship in Europe. Then I worked for several years in the Dominican Republic before I went back to Spain and helped develop the branch of Deutsche Messe AG there. I am originally from Colombia and therefore I have been looking very forward to this new challenge.

Christian Guarin, Managing Director Koelnmesse SAS

Why was Colombia chosen as the location for the new subsidiary?

Guarin: A lot is happening here right now. The economy is growing sustainably and the country is developing further. However, we do not only intend to tap into the Colombian market through the new subsidiary. We have our sights set on the entire Andean region. I like to think of Colombia as a hub. We are creating a good location here to develop the platforms and partnerships required to tap into markets with promising potential.

How is the partnership between Koelnmesse and the Colombian trade fair organiser Corferias?

Guarin: Thanks to the top-notch expertise of the team members, the partnership really works well. Corferias is not only an important local trade fair company, but also an important economic factor. Through this partnership, we benefit from these advantages.

Which areas does Koelnmesse cover on site and which areas are still in demand on the market?

Guarin: In the fields of food technology, packaging technology and furnishing, we have been very successful in Colombia with Alimentec since 2014, Andina-Pack since 2017 and Feria Mueble & Madera since 2018! However, we continue to keep an eye on important trending topics in the region. These currently include baby and children’s clothing, the dental industry, interior design and hotel furnishings.

How are the three trade fairs in Colombia going thus far?

Guarin: Since Koelnmesse came on board, international standards have developed and process optimisation has progressed. The numbers of exhibitors and visitors are also growing as compared to the previous events. At the first jointly organised trade fair Feria Mueble & Madera in March 2018, we already managed to increase the number of international exhibitors by 136 percent.

What are the development plans for the location?

Guarin: My goal is to increase participation in our trade fairs in Cologne and to push ahead with business in Colombia. With the local team and our network in the Andean region, we would like to address all producers, manufacturers and distributors of our Colombian trade fairs in future and use these contacts to strengthen Koelnmesse’s presence in Latin America.

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