Mr. Goudas Events and News
Colombia EX in MIAMI with names by Goudas
Colombia - A World of Opportunity. by SPYROS PETER GOUDAS
September 30th, 2004
It is Friday night, September 30th, 2004 and I am sitting alone in the lobby of the Intercontinental Hotel, one of the most luxurious hotels in Miami.
I am barely enjoying the comfort and luxury of my environment at this moment.
You see, I already miss what has been happening in the past couple of days.
This huge hotel was filled with business people!
There were more than a thousand people from Colombia, United States, and Canada in attendance, and the whole hotel had become a big residence for businessmen and women.
The atmosphere was filled with life, smiles, and energy; and I was completely happy to be here, in my element, surrounded by so many people, who have the same passion for business as I do!
Yes, now I remember it all again...
Let me take you back to when I arrived here on Wednesday afternoon.
It was at the invitation of Mr. Rodolfo Moseres, the Consul and Trade Commissioner of the Colombian Government,
and Mr. Rafael Vargas, International Trade Specialist.
I was here to participate in this important event, as a Canadian representative of the food industry.
Apparently the reason for this choice of location was to meet in a pleasant environment, and not too far from home, or as the Colombians actually put it: "Meet us half way!"
On the evening of the day of my arrival I was invited by the Colombian government to a fashion show, which was beautifully organized, despite the fact that at the same time torrents of rain was pouring down everywhere.
It seemed like we were experiencing the last phase of the hurricane, which unfortunately, had devastated many of the surrounding areas.
The opening ceremony of the fashion show began with a speech from the President of the Republic of Colombia, Dr. Alvaro Uribe Velez, who according to my opinion was very popular to the people.
His speech brought great enthusiasm to the audience, and as I noticed, this was a common reaction of the people towards the president.
I could see for myself why: he was a great personality with a lot of charisma.
The presentation included a wide variety of clothing for children and adults, ranging from intimate wear for men and women, swimming suits, and even beautiful wedding gowns.
Click to view larger picture
The next two days were filled with business meetings.
The Conference Hall was well organized specifically for our business sessions.
I must commend the Colombian government on the efficient management of this entire event.
Each company had its own table, where representatives from various industries placed their product samples and presented their ideas and offers.
My table changed samples every half an hour for the entire two days.
In fact, we continued discussions well past the mid-night hour right into the early morning to accommodate those suppliers with whom I was not scheduled to meet.
My business assistant, Mrs. Niki Stamatakos was a great help in following the details of the negotiations throughout our stay here. She have in Canada the best garden in the world, She came to see the Colombian flowers. CLICK ON THE PHOTO
I met many distinguished business people during this period and I was introduced to a great number of food processing companies.
(Left to right) Peter Goudas, Luis Guillermo Plata, Rodolfo Moseres
Ximena Roa Gallego, Hortalizas Gourmet with Peter Goudas
Peter Spyros Goudas
Olga Lucia Londono M. with Peter Spyros Goudas
Sales Manager of Buendia Coffee,Maurcio Velasquez with
Peter Spyros Goudas and Sebastian Uribe, Buendia Coffee
Mariluz Escobar Penagos, Export Manager, Pin with Peter Goudas
Peter Goudas, Jorge Hernan Goyeneche, Maria Camila Arbelaez L.
Maria Victoria Cardona D., Manager, Dona Paula with Peter Goudas
Luis Brugnoni C., International Business Manager, Harinera DEL MR
with Rafael Vargas and Peter Spyros Goudas
Peter Goudas with Juan Pablo Mendez Parodi, General Manager, ULA's
Juan Carlos Giraldo, General Manager, San Miguel with Peter Goudas
Jose Reinaldo Arcila Ospina, Panamericana de Alimentos,
with Peter Spyros Goudas
Hugo Ortiz Velasquez, President, Winsor Spices, Peter Goudas
and Alfonso Creazzo, Director of U.S. Accounts, Winsor Spices
Giorgio Araujo, Comexa Foods, Peter Spyros Goudas and
Gabriel Navas Arias, General Manager, INDESA with Peter Goudas
Peter Goudas, Cecilia Korakakos
Alvaro Quijano Ponce De Leon, Pedro Nel Otalora Sabogal
with Peter Spyros Goudas
Abg. Jorge A. Londono Q., Manager, En Su Punto with Peter Goudas
Mr. Goudas Latin Seasoning
Maria Isaza, President, Adel Corporation
Hugo Ortiz Velasquez
Intercontinental, Conference Hall
I also had the opportunity to discuss various topics with the ambassador of Colombia in Canada,
Mr. Jorge Visbal Martelo, who was also in attendance at this event.
Peter Goudas with Ambassador, Jorge visbal Martelo
During one of my lunch breaks, I was approached by a gentleman requesting an opportunity to introduce himself to me.
He was Mr. Hugo Sabogal, a distinguished business journalist and writer in one of the most popular newspapers in Colombia.
I had a long interview with him, he took enough material to present Goudas Foods in the Colombian Newspaper as a distinguished company in the Canadian Food Industry.
Within that period of time, I also had an interview, with the Colombian National Television.
Among my comments, I highlighted Colombia's tremendous potential for market brilliance.
I dared to be bolder than expected, and so I referred to the world's perception of Colombia as a producer of drugs, stressing my point that this country presented endless possibilities to engage in many industries with the production of fresh tasty fruits and vegetables, high quality textile, clothing, and many more items.
When asked to talk about my impressions from the Colombian president's speech, I not only mentioned how I had the best impressions from this man and how I developed the deepest respect for his personality, but I also made a comment on the way he was introduced.
In my opinion, when the president was walking towards the podium, the national anthem of Colombia should have played in the background.
I consider this to be demonstrating national unity and pride.
In fact, as I added jokingly, they should also play the Greek national anthem when I walked in the Conference Hall, not only because I am Greek, but because this is the year of the Olympics!
And here I am now, alone in this huge, empty lobby, nostalgically smiling while remembering those beautiful couple of days just past.
All the wonderful and lively businessmen and women have all gone back to their respective homes, and yet I sit here waiting my turn to do the same.
One opportunity this loneliness provides is a moment to reflect and fire up new business relationships and trade to a country and its people, misunderstood by the rest of the world.