Augusto Solano: ‘Double the flower export is an ambition’

    Colombia has major plans for the flower industry. The South American country’s president Iván Duque announced he wants to double the exports to 3 billion dollars in the next ten years. The president of export organisation Asocolflores, Augusto Solano, has high expectations of the government’s plans. “It’s a major development for us. Especially the idea of giving entrepreneurs more freedom, letting them get on with their job and allowing them to work more efficiently, is one that appeals to us greatly.”

    Colombia wants to double their flower exports to 3 billion dollars over the coming ten years. That’s what president Iván Duque said to the international press on Tuesday 11 February, three days before Valentine’s Day. Colombian growers are going to cultivate more flower varieties and expand their distribution market with new countries in Asia and Latin America.

    Colombia is currently the second largest flower exporter, after the Netherlands. According to figures from the Colombian association of flower exporters Asocolflores, the country exports 1.5 billion dollars’ worth of flowers per year. That’s around 660 million flowers of 1,500 different varieties. The Colombian floriculture sector provides 140,000 jobs.

    At that same press conference, Asocolflores’ president Augusto Solano explained that the Colombian government’s plans are part of a larger roadmap, designed to consolidate the future of the Colombian floriculture sector. Floribusiness spoke with Solano.

    Where did this plan come from?

    Augusto Solano: “This plan is part of a broader government scheme designed to stimulate Colombia’s economy. They introduced short-term pacts, lasting one year, for 22 different sectors. For us, as well as the coffee sector, the government drew up 10-year long agendas. That says something about the importance of our industry.”

    Did this come as a surprise?

    “President Duque visited the Proflora fair in Bogota last year. That’s when the plan emerged. To hear Duque say he wants to double the flower exports in ten years’ time was somewhat surprising though. I don’t think that can be taken too literally. It’s an ambition. But realistically, it would probably take twenty years to achieve that goal.”

    Click here to read the full interview with Augusto Solano.

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