Thursday, July 5, 2012

Trade Mission to Colombia

NGLCC Announces Trade Mission to Colombia 
By Simon McNorton, Policy Fellow NGLCC

Do Business with the NGLCC in Colombia!

As a business owner, you’re constantly looking for ways to expand your business to find new customers. For many businesses, moving onto the international stage is a natural step in the growth of a business. After all, 95% of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S.

But as an LGBT business-owner, you might have concerns about working abroad – how accessible are international markets to LGBT-owned small businesses? And just how do you approach the lucrative global marketplace?

This fall, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is sending LGBT business leaders and entrepreneurs on the first ever U.S. Government-certified LGBT trade mission, taking place from September 11 to 15. We’re inviting NGLCCNY’s LGBT-certified members to join us.

The NGLCC-led mission will travel to the Colombia capital of Bogotá and is of particular importance given the recent U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

The agreement eliminates over 80 percent of tariffs on consumer and industrial products sold to Colombia, and halves those remaining from 10.8 percent to 4.0 percent. When you combine that with the fact that Colombia is the third largest buyer of U.S. export goods and services, you could say we’re excited about the opportunities the Free Trade Agreement brings for U.S. businesses as they expand abroad.

Now, through this trade mission, we’re able to bring these opportunities to LGBT entrepreneurs and help them expand their customer base into Latin America. The NGLCC is proud of our work to help LGBT businesses operate globally as we continue to work with our 11 international LGBT chambers of commerce.

In 2010, we traveled to Argentina on our first international business exchange, and the coming mission to Colombia builds on that success by connecting with the federal government, a direct result of a memorandum signed between the NGLCC and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Department of Commerce support means the mission will have access to the commercial attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá and have experts on hand to support your business as you make connections crucial to exporting. Delegates will have the opportunity to meet with potential buyers, distributors, strategic partners and end users, as well as participate in the inaugural LGBT Business Summit of the Americas.

You can learn more about the mission and the work of the NGLCC by getting in touch with Joanna Dees, or by visiting us at While you’re there, be sure to register for the NGLCC National Business and Leadership Conference taking place in Chicago from August 7 to 10.

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago – and maybe in Colombia!

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