US$25.9 million in business intentions generated by 584 SMEs from Latin America and the Caribbean



The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Executive Secretariat of the Central American Agricultural Council (SE-CAC), and the Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration (SIECA) organized a new edition of the Business-to-Business Virtual Match-Making Rounds from May 22 to 26. The Central American Trade Network (REDCA) hosted the event in support of market access for producer organizations, Small and Midsize Enterprises (SMEs), and businesses in the region’s agrifood chains.

In its seventh edition, the B2B Virtual Match-Making Rounds of the Agrifood Chains of Latin America and the Caribbean registered business intentions for US$25.9 million and attracted the participation of 584 SMEs, including 300 Central American companies, 247 South American companies, and 37 from North America and the Caribbean.

The event brought together buyers and sellers of all sizes from countries such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, Cuba, and Jamaica. The participants expanded their networking capabilities by developing their business agendas, facilitating the opportunity to do business and market diversification.

The sectors most represented during the Virtual Match-Making Rounds were fruits and vegetables, dairy products, seafood, tea, coffee and cocoa, natural juice drinks, basic grains, seeds, meat, honey, tubers, bakery, sauces, and condiments, as well as customs and foreign trade advisory services, packaging, transportation and logistics, machinery and equipment, and agricultural innovation, among others.

This edition was remarkable for the participation of SMEs led by women and young people under 40 years of age, representing 35% and 53% of the total number of participants.

Since 2020, through seven editions of the B2B Virtual Match-Making Rounds, 3,832 SMEs from different Latin American countries have joined the event. Business agendas have been developed with a balance of USD 173.9 million in business intentions.

Edith Flores de Molina, Director of SIECA’s Center for Economic Integration Studies (CEIE), said: “We are pleased to be part of this alliance with solid institutions with clear objectives aimed at boosting trade and food security. The results obtained in the seventh edition of the B2B Virtual Match-Making Rounds, held on the platform of the Central American Business Network REDCA, are of great satisfaction for SIECA, as companies located in different parts of the Latin American region and the Caribbean break barriers of time and distance, sustaining business agendas that have allowed them to commit sales for an amount close to $26 million.”

Lucrecia Rodríguez, Executive Secretary of the CAC, pointed out that one of the goals of the Central American Agricultural Policy is to facilitate actions so that farmers and their organizations can access local, regional, and international markets with their products. “We are excited to work on this joint regional agenda that promotes the development of the region’s rural territories since this is where the agricultural production of our countries is concentrated”.

Daniel Rodríguez, Manager of IICA’s International Trade and Regional Integration Program, said he was very satisfied with this inter-agency effort since, after seven editions, the B2B Virtual Match-Making Rounds of the agrifood chains of Latin America and the Caribbean have become a regional public good that facilitates the diversification of export markets and products, while promoting greater participation in export markets by the different actors in the region’s chains.

He also mentioned that this time there was a significant participation of companies that have participated in previous editions, which confirms the usefulness of the roundtables to achieve their business objectives, as well as companies that participated for the first time, which motivates us to continue promoting new editions of this successful initiative.

Pablo Rabczuk, FAO’s Agrifood Systems and Trade Officer, emphasized that FAO is committed to promoting SMEs and family-farming organizations in international agrifood trade chains, as this contributes to food security in the region. “B2B Virtual Match-Making Rounds organized by FAO, SECAC, IICA, and SIECA consolidate trade opportunities that impact economic development and promote a better life for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs in the agrifood sector, their families, and their communities. We also highlight the involvement of young people and women entrepreneurs in the event, which has gradually increased with each edition of the Match-Making Events, demonstrating how these virtual spaces are useful tools for strengthening capacities related to access to international markets,” said Rabczuk.

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