MEDELLIN, Colombia – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Tuesday that his government has 66 billion pesos (about $21.8 million) available to loan to the fashion sector via the state-run Banco de Comercio Exterior (Bancoldex).
“Just this year, Bandoldex has disbursed 34 billion pesos to the sector, which is included in the more than 900 million pesos disbursed since 2010 to 59,300 firms,” Santos said at the opening of the 28th edition of the Colombiamoda fashion fair and multi-show event.
The president said that forecasts are that the sector will request an additional 66 billion pesos in the second quarter, a quantity that he said is available.
Santos also said that the Inexmoda export and fashion institute has been an “unconditional ally” that has “helped build a country in peace and with progress.”
“Twenty-eight years ago I decided to launch the Colombiamoda event – known earlier as Colombiatex – to show the market what Colombia was capable of doing. That effort has turned out great,” he emphasized.
Regarding this year’s fair, he said that there will be an exhibition and a French fashion show coinciding with the Year of Colombia-France.
He also emphasized that the fair will gather “hundreds of companies that are transforming lives, creating jobs, and thousands of buyers who are invigorating the industry via their businesses.”
Colombiamoda, which includes 66 fashion shows and 620 exhibiting brands, will run until July 27.
An estimated 13,600 buyers from 56 countries are expected to do some $350 million in business at the fair.