We facilitate export services

About Sippo

We facilitate sustainable trade.

The Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) is a well-established mandate of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) with the overall vision of sustainable and inclusive economic growth and integration of SIPPO partner countries into world trade, through its mission of supporting Business Support Organizations (so called BSOs - which includes public or private asociations, chambers of commerce, export promotion agencies, among others) to increase their export promotion capacity and service provision to export-ready companies. As of 2017, SIPPO is implemented by Swisscontact, in partnership with BHP Brugger and Partners and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation.

Through SIPPO’s network of international and national experts, the programme aims at supporting BSOs to increase their export promotion capacity and service provision to export-ready companies. The programme is a powerful tool in promoting sustainable trade in 11 countries and 6 sectors: Fish& Seafood, Processed Foods, Natural Ingredients, Technical Wood, Value-added Textiles and Sustainable Tourism.

SIPPO supports BSOs through tailor-made capacity building in two areas: 
1) Improving BSO Market entry activities 
through capacity building in market intelligence, trade fair participation, selling missions, buyer missions and study tours, and

2) Institutional Strengthening of Business Support Organizations (BSOs) 
through Strategic planning and positioning, Project Cycle Management and Knowledge sharing and learning.

BSOs are capacitated at their own speed and ownership is placed entirely in the hands of the service provider: BSOs who want to explore and improve access to new markets and opportunities for their export-ready companies to undertake these “last mile services” activities.

SIPPO thereby enhances BSO member companies’ performances in export and thus contributes to increased income and more and better jobs.

Colombia is facing substantial political, economic, social and cultural challenges for consolidating peace, an essential requirement for achieving higher levels of a sustainable, equitable and inclusive integral development. However, its climate conditions; its soils and water availability; production, cultural and biological diversity; the beauty of its nature; and its geo-strategic location —with access to both oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific— contribute to sources of relevant comparative and competitive advantages.

This is precisely the context in which the SIPPO programme aims to contribute from a perspective of diversification, value addition, sophistication and consolidation of the exportable supply, for enhancing projection and integration into the global value chains, thus realising the benefits related to the international trade for development.

SIPPO Code of Conduct

Our services

Business Support Organizations open the doors to world trade through their services to exporters.

We support BSOs to improve their services for exporting companies, and to strengthen their own institutional set-up, as well as connect them to an extensive network.

In our partner countries, we build the capacities of Business Support Organizations (BSOs), such as export promotion boards and sector-wide associations. We will support them so that they can provide high-quality services to their client companies and members in the areas of market intelligence, B2B matchmaking, and networking. In this way, we give assistance to embed export promotion within national structures of our partner countries while supporting reliable sources for your benefit.

Strategic Planning

Learn to define your role in export promotion within your sector and country through a strategic and focused approach. 

Knowledge Management & Networking

Learn how to access, share and update knowledge and information to build your activities on the existing knowledge and experience. Profit from our large network of contacts. We facilitate networking events and invite to conferences and workshops.


We help you assess, and provide tools for, your project and performance management.


Learn which markets to target and how to connect your companies with suppliers, through the organization of trade fair participations, selling and buyer missions, study tours, and combining them with on-site visits.

Our team - your contact

Our team is made up of professionals with vast experience in, amongst others, international trade; negotiation and use of international trade agreements; export processes, market research; and design of public policies.

Amalia Vasquez

Country Representative


SIPPO supports BSOs through capacity building in three sectors: Natural Ingredients, Processed Foods and Sustainable Tourism 

Processed Foods

The privileged geographic location and the multiplicity of the thermal floors in Colombia provide significant opportunities for production growth and specialisation, as well as for further diversification, value added and sophistication of the agribusiness industry. The sector has shown promising growth over the last decade, experiencing a 3.2% annual average growth rate, driven mainly by the increase in domestic consumption and new international market penetration. This implies significant opportunities for new product design and/or adaptation to satisfy the needs and tastes of consumers in international markets.

Sustainable Tourism

Colombia has a wide natural, cultural and geographic diversity, ranging from the coasts on the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans to the Andean heights, and from the exuberant beauty of the tropical rainforests on the Amazonas and Orinoco basins to the Guajira desert. These breathtaking landscapes are the natural setting for numerous cultural expressions of native peoples who uphold their traditions and ancestral practices. This capital constitutes the starting point for planned territorial management that should transform Colombia into a world-class tourism destination.

Natural Ingredients

Colombia is ranked as the world’s second most biodiverse country, with over 45,000 species of plants, 1,500 of which are endemic. This explains the progressive development of the growing pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries, based on natural ingredients, both as primary input, or source, and as intermediate goods. However, the country must still achieve its full export potential by strengthening research and innovation capabilities, new product development, and value chain consolidation, including primary transformation of such ingredients. The enhanced exports offer will attract new or established international buyers looking for innovative products and reliable suppliers to develop and/or diversify their product portfolio.

Partner BSOs

SIPPO will implement its activities in the relevant export sectors with its five partner organisations. We foster sophisticated services for export-ready companies.

Together with the UN body of the International Trade Center ITC (, export promotion boards and sector associations were assessed in 2017 to identify potential for improvements in their export promotion services. This involves interviews related to BSOs’ export promotion services, organisational structures, quality management and performance management, as well as export and sector strategies.

Asociación Nacional Cacaotera de Colombia (Red Cacaotera)

Private trade association composed of over 100 cocoa growers associations articulated in 7 regional hubs, committed to furthering cocoa-chocolate sector integration and opportunities to strengthen organisations and growers capacities, competitiveness and welfare.

Asociación Colombiana de Turismo Responsable (ACOTUR)

Private, non-profit, trade association committed to furthering responsible tourism practices in Colombia through, among others, compliance with international market standards and public policy advocacy to mainstream these practices in the domestic market in order to promote sustainable sector growth.

Federación Nacional de Cacaoteros (FEDECACAO)

Private non-profit trade association established to safeguard Colombian cocoa growers' interests and contribute to their integral development, attain sustainable, equitable and inclusive sector development and significantly contribute to peacebuilding, through marketing, trade, research, technology, rural extension and innovation, and social, cultural and environmental products and services.


Trade promotion agency that fosters non-traditional exports, international tourism and foreign investment in Colombia, as well as country image, through its wide-ranging network of local and international bureaus.

Cámara de Comercio de Bogotá (CCB)

Private, non-profit organization, committed to developing a wide-ranging sustainable Bogota-Region and furthering citizen welfare through ongoing public policy advocacy and the delivery of across-the-board quality services aimed at developing and/or strengthening entrepreneurial capacities and at improving the business environment.


In collaboration with partner BSOs, SIPPO provides training and support to export-ready relevant sector businesses, affording them the opportunity to aptly and effectively participate in local and international trade fairs and events.

Buyer and/or seller missions, market intelligence and/or market access capacity building tools and workshops, networking and B2B meetings, and trade fairs, among others, constitute a platform for generating and realising new export business.
Visit this section regularly and register for our tailor-made events and activities.