Issue February 2017

Calendar of Events

2017 CTCC Golf Tournament
9 a.m- 3:30 p.m
Quail Valley Golf Course
2880 La Quinta Dr
Missouri City, TX 77459

2017 Economic Outlook:

The U.S., Colombia and Latin America

The future of U.S. - Colombia Trade under Trump administration: What to expect and how to prepare

9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Conference Room CTCC
2000 W. Sam Houston Pkwy.S. Suite 150
Houston, TX 77042


Texas Open Innovation Conference
03/28/2017- 03/29/2017
8:00am - 4:40pm
Lone Star College-University Park Houston
20515 Texas 249
Houston, TX 77070

Advance English Proficiency-Workshop for native speakers of spanish
11:00am- 1:00pm
Conference Room CTCC
2000 W. Sam Houston Pkwy.S. Suite 150
Houston, TX 77042

Coffee & Learn: Grow Your Business with Email & Social Media Marketing
9:00am -11:00am
Conference Room CTCC
2000 W. Sam Houston Pkwy.S. Suite 150
Houston, TX 77042

Special thanks to our members








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Why Colombia will remain as a good trade partner for the US in 2017?

Claudia Rojas | President - CTCC

The Colombia Texas Chamber of Commerce welcomes you to 2017 and whishes you a year of great professional and personal success. 
This year, we started in an ocean of uncertainties and questions regarding the future of US Trade under the new administration. Even though it is going to take some time to have answers for most of the questions, there are certain elements that we can rely on: the trade balance between the US and Colombia is favorable to the US; the Free Trade Agreement between the US and Colombia is a last generation one with many complementary products involved; Colombia doesn’t represent a real threat to the US economy and lastly Colombia is the most US friendly country in the region, with a market size that is interesting for US companies.
As per the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Colombia is currently the US 20th largest goods trading partner with $31 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2015. Goods exports totaled $17 billion; goods imports totaled $14 billion. The U.S. goods trade surplus with Colombia was $2.4 billion in 2015. According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of goods to Colombia supported an estimated 77 thousand jobs in 2014 (latest data available). Preliminary 2016 numbers by the United States Census Bureau, show a trade balance in 2016 looking even between the countries totaling $26 billion. The decrease is mainly caused by the slowdown of the oil and gas industry and the devaluation of the Colombian peso.


Meet our board members

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First row from left to right: Claudia Rojas - President (CTCC) | Juan F. Arjona - Vice President (Technip) | Tim Tirlia - Vice President (Anadarko) | Luis Bustamante - Vice President (Indequipos Group) | Francisco Vives - Vice President (Vives & Arias) 

Second row from left to right: Rafael Carsalade - Treasurer (PKF) | Pablo Ferrante - Secretary (Mayer Brown) | Johnny Minervini - Director (7 Seas Energy) | Brian Hottman - Director (Fugro) | Marcela Pisciotti - Director (Coremar)

Why Join a Chamber of Commerce in the U.S.?

Matias Rios | CEO – Bix Plan, LLC

The United States is a country with a strong entrepreneurial activity and a great quality of life, both built on the basis of a clear business environment that invites foreign investment.  The main challenge for an entrepreneur is to learn to understand the system and to quickly recognize opportunities that meet their expectations and the levels of risk they are willing to take.
During the process in which a company is trying to get a significant market share, on a  reasonable time curve that would not jeopardize its survival, some of the most important goals to achieve are:
1) Get the proper advice: you should allow the right professionals to guide you, such as accountants, lawyers, administrative advisers, insurance agents, business brokers, marketing experts, real estate agents, headhunters, etc. Some of them are absolutely necessary, others are strongly recommended.
2) Start networking: your business should gain visibility and be known by hundreds if not thousands of people as fast as possible. You will be able to gain some new clients fairly quickly; other potential clients will take more time before they start doing business with a new company; and others will never buy from you, but could definitely become an important source of potential client referrals.
In order to accomplish the two crucial goals mentioned above, it is recommended to turn to the chambers of commerce as they can be an excellent source of contacts and networking. These organizations gather a great number of entrepreneurs, investors, and managers from different lines of business and the majority of them focus on a specific company profile such as binational companies, small business, or companies of a particular industry. In Texas alone, there are more than 30 chambers of commerce. Their main goal is to facilitate the interaction among companies to help them gain economic strength by building new relations and working together, thus, they organize and promote meetings, business lunches, conferences, dinners, and galas. Acquiring a membership will allow you to freely promote your company in their events where you will be able to meet numerous people, many of whom were probably looking for a supplier of the products and/or services you offer. These organizations also generate entrepreneurial learning opportunities which could make a great impact in your business’ constant improvement procedures. Finally, being a member of a chamber of commerce will add prestige and institutional credibility to your business while having your company’s interests represented before government entities. To join any of them, just look for their calendar and attend to their next event; you will always be able to find options available for members and non-members.
Remember, when you are doing business, it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk. However, you can increase your company’s chance of succeeding and growing by taking advice from qualified professionals and getting in touch with many people from diverse backgrounds and with different needs.

What a year 2016!

The Colombia Texas Chamber of Commerce had another great year, always working hard with great ambition to promote and boost your business creating a unique network between different industries.
We have successfully been able to organize and co-host more than 20 events during 2016. Highlights for us definitely include our CTCC I Recognition and Charity Gala, the perfect occasion to express our gratitude to all of our members and to support those in need; III Deepwater and Unconventional E&P in Colombia Forum at the OTC, where International Oil and Gas experts and government officials discussed "Why you should be looking at Colombia for both deepwater and unconventional business opportunities"; Houston Gateway to the Americas, one of the best network opportunities in Houston where business, government, educational, and the real estate communities converge in a two-and-a-half day conference and expo; First Golf Tournament, a great chance for companies to invite potential clients, motivate employees or just strengthen existing business relations.
Another important accomplishment of the CTCC in 2016 was to join the Pacific Alliance Business Network (PABNet) which will expand our capacity to generate more business opportunities for our members. All our members automatically will be part of the PABNet and their business information will post in the companies’ directory at no extra cost.
If you would like more information about our past events, click here.
We give thanks for all the valuable support we received from our Members and we look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events!


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The Colombia Texas Chamber of Commerce - Issue February 2017