Virtual Business Forum

The British-Chilean Chamber of Commerce has been an established player in the Chilean market for 102 years since its founding in 1917. Britcham is the third largest bi-national chamber in Chile with over 140 members, ranging from large multinational entities to SMEs.

Many of Chile’s largest mining companies and suppliers, are members of the Chamber, including Anglo-American, Antofagasta Minerals, BHP (Billiton), Wood Plc, Worley, Collahuasi, Weir Minerals, and JCB. It’s members also include Pharmaceuticals’, Healthcare, Technology, Forestry and Agriculture, amongst others.

Britcham has extensive experience organising and receiving trade missions across multiple sectors in Chile and across the South American region. In addition, Britcham works with companies from across the world providing market entry services such as B2B presentations, meeting agendas for market visits, partner search reports, the production of events, and market intelligence reports.

“South West Businesses Connect with Latin America” – a virtual forum

Business West and Britcham Chile have worked in partnership for some time in support of South West companies.  In light of COVID-19 and the need to help business recover swiftly, we advanced discussions in 2020 and have organised and supported a Virtual Trade Forum focused on discovering and advancing export opportunities to Chile and potentially other countries in Latin America.

COVID-19 looks here to stay in the medium term, and it is not yet clear when quarantine and other restrictions will finally be eased and not re-imposed, so we needed to find a new way to advance exports of new brands into the Chilean market. This led us to the creation of a Virtual Forum to enable interested exporters to fully understand the local conditions and virtually meet prospective buyers and distributors. Although this can never fully replace face-to-face contact, it enables the best counterpart to be identified for a future visit, and a trial relationship pending a handshake. It is likely to become an integral part of the “new normal.”

There are significant savings to be made by using virtual means to introduce partners and start relationships. Obviously, there are no travel expenses, no hotel bills, and no other related costs. In addition, little time needs to be taken from UK-based commitments.  Delegates, through the Forum, develop the confidence to follow up using Business West’s experience of identifying the best prospects and Britcham’s contacts and local knowledge.

Format:

1) Overview webinar to attract interest and brief potential delegates.

2) Sector specific focus groups, with regulatory and other guest speakers invited to brief companies in line with their sector. We also cover a “do’s and don’ts “ session for when talking business in Chile as well as an introduction to Chilean social and work habits.

3) Activity culminates in virtual one-to-one meetings arranged at the convenience of the matched parties, accompanied by a member of Britcham to facilitate language and cultural translation.