After two years of a virtual setting, the trade association of the water and environmental sector in Colombia, ACODAL, held its international congress in Bogotá from 13 to 15 July. Nine Dutch participants did not miss the chance to be back on site and were present on the exhibition floor through the Netherlands Lounge – a unique location to share expertise and spark partnerships. In addition, some of the latest technologies and projects for water management and climate change were shared during the ‘Orange Programme,’ the Dutch contribution to the academic agenda of the Congress.
An unusual Conference programme awaited the participants of the Netherlands Lounge in Bogotá, as the day prior to the Congress, the Dutch delegation was offered a field trip with multiple visits to important industries in Colombia. Aqueducto Bogotá was their first stop. Here they learnt about the facilities, management and treatment of water in the Tibitoc plant. Then it was time for Cerveceria Central de Colombia, where the delegation got to see the wastewater treatment process and the biogas facilities managed in the production processes, in addition to knowing the treatment of drinking water and the packaging process. Lastly, Alpina factory opened its door for the Dutch representatives to see its biogas facilities.
After a day of visits, the Congress began. On the first day, issues regarding energy transition, sustainable territorial development and natural resources monitoring were discussed, as well as the challenges faced by the public sector and the bioeconomy in Colombia. Parallel to this, an enriched and active commercial exhibition in the Netherlands Lounge took place.
During the second day, the generation of strategic alliances with Colombian companies and entities through several business tables continued. Additionally, Dutch participant presented their success stories and projects with the "Orange Programme," the Congress’ session dedicated for the sharing of Dutch expertise.
The second day closed with a networking cocktail in the Netherlands Lounge, a space where the Dutch delegation was able to interact even more with Colombian companies. At the event, H. E. Ernst Noorman, Dutch Ambassador to Colombia, highlighted the importance of continuing to strengthen trade and knowledge exchange between companies from Colombia and the Netherlands to jointly overcome current and future difficulties in the water and sanitation sector.
During the third and last day, the companies had their last business meeting with Colombian companies. An exchange of contacts was generated, and future commercial alliances were explored. Each of the Dutch companies sees great potential for alliances with Colombian companies to work on more sustainable, energy and climate change projects in Colombia.
The Dutch participation in ACODAL 2022 was organised by the Netherlands Water Partnership, Holland House Colombia and the Dutch Embassy in Colombia, with the support of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).
The Dutch delegation at the 65 ACODAL Congress consisted of:
Organisations interested in getting in touch with these participants or other Dutch water actors established in the Latin America region, can reach out the Netherlands Water Partnership, by emailing email@example.com.