Juan Verde, world leader in sustainable development and adviser to Obama and Bill Clinton, assured that Colombia has a free trade agreement with the United States that is underused.
“Currently, Colombia has a free trade agreement with the United States that is underutilized. There is a huge opportunity for more Colombian companies to export to the US. Producing in California would cost the same as producing in Colombia, the only difference is transportation, but you have advantages in terms of labor and costs, which makes you more competitive. There’s a saying that goes, “If it works, don’t fix it,” said Juan Verde.
Speaking at the Confecámara Congress, Verde noted that small and medium-sized companies continue to see sustainability as a problem, although it should be recognized as a competitive advantage.
“The truth is that the global economy is changing and we are already in the process of transitioning to a new economic model based on sustainability and low emissions, which creates a great business opportunity. We see consumer habits changing around the world, consumers want green, sustainable products and are willing to pay for them.”
According to the expert, 92% of consumers would choose the sustainable option for the same price and quality and 75% of consumers would pay up to 10% more for sustainable products. He also explained that it had become obvious that financial institutions would no longer finance sustainable companies with a positive impact on the environment.
“Global regulatory frameworks are forcing a shift towards sustainability. If they want to export outside Colombia, they must understand that in Europe and the United States they will demand a sustainable supply chain,” emphasized Verde.