Podcast: Logistics Lessons from the US Chamber of Commerce with Cesar Vence

In this episode, Cesar Vence, Executive Director, U.S.-Colombia Business Council at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, joins Host Brian Glick, CEO of Chain.io, to discuss the importance of strong trade policy and relationships between businesses to facilitate global trade and commerce.

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Logistics Lessons from the US Chamber of Commerce with Cesar Vence

In this episode, Cesar Vence, Executive Director, U.S.-Colombia Business Council at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, joins Host Brian Glick, CEO of Chain.io, to discuss:

  • How strong trade policy and relationships facilitate global trade and commerce
  • The challenges and opportunities faced by businesses in global markets
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s advocacy work for MSME’s
  • Nearshoring vs. Farshoring and the potential benefits for small businesses
  • Connecting MSME and larger enterprises for trade opportunities
  • US.-Colombia business relations and logistics opportunities

Cesar Vence is the executive director of the US Columbia Business Council at the US Chamber of Commerce and has spent most of his career working on issues of international trade, from a policy standpoint and for the promotion of small business activity for exporters in and out of the United States and Latin America.

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Episode Transcript

Brian Glick  00:05

Welcome to Supply Chain Connections. I'm Brian Glick, founder and CEO at Chain.io. On today's episode, we're going to have a really interesting conversation with someone who may not think of themselves as working in the supply chain, but very much does. Cesar Vence is the executive director of the US Columbia Business Council at the US Chamber of Commerce, and says spend most of his career and really his life working on issues of international trade, from the policy standpoint, and from the promotion of small business activity, both exporters out of the United States into Latin America, and vice versa. And I think it's really interesting for those of us who spend a lot of time on the execution side of the supply chain, to hear about the background and the passions of someone who creates the environment in which the rest of us are able to function. Without strong trade policy, without strong relationships and coaching of businesses. There is no cargo to move, and there is no trade to be done. So I hope you enjoy the episode. Cesar welcome to the show

Cesar Vence  01:22

Thank you, thank you for having me.

Brian Glick  01:24

Cool. So, why don't we start with a little bit of background on yourself, just introduce yourself, and then kind of what your career journey has been?

Cesar Vence  01:32

Sure. So since that event, say, I'm, I'm a Colombian American, you know, immigrated to the United States in, in the early 90s, you know, as very typical immigrant story, you know, left Colombia, due to the situation there, our family wanted to give us, you know, new and better opportunities. So we made the trip up here, you know, we've had a long history of, you know, sort of immigration to the US, you know, through my family, you know, my uncle came here in a, in a scholarship and the early 70s, I believe he was a bodybuilder and believe it or not, back in the days, there were bodybuilding scholarships, for he came to the United States, and then, you know, everyone else kind of followed. And, you know, it's been really just a great journey, it's been a great journey. So, you know, it's, I came from a family that's always put a lot of emphasis in public service. My father is a physician, my mother is a social worker, my uncle was a teacher, school teacher, my Harvard and one who worked at the United Nations worked at an American Development Bank. So we all kind of, you know, came from that public service, international background. So I just knew, you know, I was going to lend somewhere in between some sort of international public service. And in the back of my mind, even when I came to the US, you know, I always thought about going back to Colombia, to give back, but through the years, you know, just as destiny will have it, I mean, I came across just really, first of all, just really fascinating people, you know, that I've met through my time here that helped me paved a way to be where I am today. And that's really at the intersection of everything that I'm passionate about. And that is, you know, public service, public policy, and international commerce. And that's what led me to this new, you know, new not been at the Chamber for three years. But But these gig at the Chamber, you know, when I started talking to the team at the chamber and learning more about their work, you know, it just it was I was really intrigued by how the chamber is, you know, his position at the intersection of public policy, international commerce, and what I like to call economic diplomacy, right. I mean, I mean, I try to explain my job to people that, you know, they don't really, they're not in our sort of industry, I tell them that we're economic ambassadors for the United States, and for our member companies. And that's really how I see, you know, our role of the chamber and my role, leading the US Columbia Business console.

Brian Glick  04:11

So explain just for people who may not know what the Chamber of Commerce is, and what the US Columbia Business Council is,

Cesar Vence  04:20

Right, so the US Chamber of Commerce is the largest trade organization in the world. You know, we advocate both at the domestic and international level, the chamber, it's a large organization, but I mean, I think the best way to think about us is we are the voice of the US private sector, not just in the US, but also globally. You know, I'm part of the international division of the US Chamber, where we have presence pretty much everywhere around the world and the international division in the US Chamber is not only well known, but also, you know, very respected around the globe. So the international division is kind of, you know, if you can imagine, sort of everywhere. All maps, you know, are divided into different sort of regions. I'm part of the Americas region, where we have five bilateral consoles. So Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, and Colombia, which is the one that I lead. And the rest of the region is covered by our network of AMP gems, that is through a programme called Arc Law Association of American Chambers of Commerce of Latin America and the Caribbean. So we're able to cover the entire hemisphere, you know, through our division and very similar to our division, you know, we have a European team, we have an Africa team, we have an Asia team, very dynamic teams that are literally, you know, out there traveling, talking to government officials around the world, speaking on behalf of the US private sector, you know, what I find really interesting about this work is, when you think of advocacy, you think about, you know, sort of somebody out there complaining about what we don't like, you know, about a certain regulation or about a certain, you know, proposal, but what I find really interesting about our sort of the dynamics, and their work that we do is that he goes beyond, there's a lot of, you know, looking for opportunities to collaborate, you know, how can we support governments? And how can we support more than Garbers? How can we support countries? You know, with their development, growth and development? How do we make them more competitive? And that's really at the core of what we do? How do we create these enabling environments to ensure that, you know, our country, you know, for example, I'm going to refer a lot to Colombia, because that's what I do on a day to day basis, but a country like Colombia remains competitive, foreign direct investment that are, you know, 500 plus US companies that are located in Colombia, you know, have an enabling environment, you know, to create jobs to innovate. So that's really at the core of what we do. So

Brian Glick  06:54

when I, as a lay person, think of the US Chamber of Commerce and capital letters, and I think of big businesses and a big building right next to the White House, and you know, all of these things, but I know that likes the way we met, and one of your passions is kind of micro small and medium enterprises. MSMEs. Some of us call it small businesses with all sorts of different words. But that was very eye opening to me, you know, that there is that engagement. So maybe talk a little bit about your passion in that area, and what that means for the other countries in the world.

Cesar Vence  07:33

Yeah, thank you for bringing that up. Brian. I mean, you're right. I think when everyone thinks of the US Chamber of Commerce, you know, they think big business. But, you know, the Chamber has historically, you know, worked very closely and has tons of programming and resources to support when we met, we use the term MSMEs. Because in the region in Latin America, M is the first of that micro enterprise, right? I don't think in the US, I don't think we use them as much yet. But there are micro enterprises, right? But we do a lot of work. The chamber, you know, through the different programmes that we have our federation, that network of chambers throughout the nation to support small businesses in that commitment was reflected, you know, during the MSME conference that we hosted back in February in partnership with the RAS. The reason we were involved in the MSME conference was because during 2022, when the US Chamber was tapped to lead the CEO Summit of the Americas during the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, one of the main pillars was MSME development, we hosted the first virtual MSME Academy, which had about 5000 MSMEs. From the region I participated in, I actually had the opportunity to moderate that Academy. So this was a continuation of that work, you know, we felt that it was important to in partnership with the OAS, you know, we recognise the need to have a regional strategy for MSME development and growth, you know, 95% of businesses in the region, when I say the region, referring to Latin America and the Caribbean, are MSMEs. But only a very small percentage of that group actually takes advantage or participates in the global market. So we saw it as an opportunity to come together with government officials, businesses, trade associations from around the region, to think about how to support these MSMEs. And you know, what was really unique about this, and I think this is where the chamber comes in, is the role of the private sector, the US private sector. I mean, you saw all of our, you know, sort of major corporations, you know, those that you think of when you think about the US Chamber, but very present at this event, you know, talking about their different programmes and resources. To support MSME development how these companies, these larger companies, you know, include MSMEs, into their supply chains and into their work. So, you know, the chamber is fully committed to MSME development. I personally, you know, this has always been a big passion of mine. Prior to joining the US Chamber, I was Deputy Director for the Office of International Affairs in the city of Atlanta. And I used to run the city's expert programme, which was really targeted towards MSMEs. So you could equip Atlanta MSMEs with tools, so they can actually go out there and learn more about global opportunities. So, you know, I get to do a lot of the things that I'm really passionate about, and at the Chamber, you know, I get to work with small businesses and get to support them. And then at the same time, you know, we get to support some of your larger companies as well.

Brian Glick  10:56

So what are some of the challenges? If you're, you know, a small business? Who wants to do international business really, in any direction? Kind of like, what are some of the things they run into that those of us who sit inside the supply chain saw, they may not think of?

Cesar Vence  11:12

Well, it is interesting, I think, if you ask a business, the first thing that people will say is that he's funding, right, like, oh, we need more funding. But that's not necessarily true, funding is not the solution to every problem. Sometimes actually, funding can become a bigger issue for an MSME. I think there's a number of challenges. But one is, there is a lot of information and resources available for MSMEs. But it's all over the place. So something that I did actually, when I was back in Atlanta, we put together this sort of centralized website, where MSMEs can go in and find all of the resources from the federal, the state and local level to support them to, you know, export. So it's called ATL inbusiness.com. So those sorts of resources where you aggregate the information for MSMEs, you know, this information is key, right? So because it's a small business owner, they don't have time to be out there searching the net, and networking, talking to people every day. So information is key. The other one is the network, I think, you know, making sure and creating spaces where these MSMEs can actually meet with potential partners, potential vendors, suppliers, that's really key, because a lot of them just again, don't have the time to be out there networking, because they're worried about running their business, right, they're worried about paying bills or worrying about this. So creating those opportunities. And then, you know, there's another sort of layer to that, you know, when we think about MSMEs, and a lot of the work that I've done, typically, they've been with minority owned businesses, you know, minority owned businesses have another layer of challenge, you know, I think funding is a big challenge for them. I mean, there's not as much funding available for minority owned businesses, minority owned enterprises. So you know, pooling funding, finding alternative funding, sorting vehicles for them is also another area, then, you know, we get into logistics, right? I mean, logistics is a big cause for MSMEs. So that's another area that sometimes it's challenging, the regulatory environment is quite convoluted. And if you're a small business, you just don't have the time or the bandwidth to be out there kind of keeping track of, you know, every regulation that may impact your business, right? So I think we just need to figure out a way to simplify, you know, one regulation that creates more opportunities for MSMEs. And then the other thing that, you know, this was clear during the conference was, you know, just these need for opportunities, right, for creating more opportunities, where the MSMEs participate and engage. So, but look, I see there are challenges, there's many challenges that MSMEs face every day, but all of those challenges, you know, we see them as opportunities, right? And we mean, organizations like the US Chamber, to come up with new programming, be out there, be present, and support these MSMEs. And

Brian Glick  14:07

so that I just, I can't think of a whole stack of stories, just in the last few years of interest, people I've met out there and one company, and MSME here in the US who had been buying product, you know, from Asia, and always bought it kind of delivered and duty paid. And then they got a big order from a big US retailer, and suddenly they were trying to import themselves, and they didn't understand how tariffs worked. You know, and for those of us who've been doing it our whole careers, it's kind of second nature and suddenly they get a phone call that says I need a $250,000 check to get this through the port. And they like they didn't know that phone call was coming. Right for the duties on it was shirts and it's a pretty high duty rate. And I mean, that's what it looks like on the ground when that edge case doesn't happen, which can put a small business out of business.

Cesar Vence  15:04

Yeah, yeah. I mean, you know, sort of on the same lines, I mean, you have a company, let's just say they're selling, I don't know, a custom made bag, right. And they're doing a great job, and they want to export but then all of a sudden, they get these orders of Otter, no, there. There's a container full of these, well, they don't have the capacity. Right. So there's a lot of education, there's a lot of just awareness. And truth be told, I mean, international commerce is not for every MSME. Right. So I think it also creates that awareness that maybe you're not there yet. Right? But like, what do we need to do to get you to that point, right. There's also, you know, all kinds of requirements that you have to meet to enter a different market. There's also some learning that you need to do around both. Does that country have a free trade agreement, right? tariffs. So he just again, I go back to that initial point of information, and there's just a lot of information out there that is this not hard to access, but it's hard to sort of process and aggregate for a small business owner again, because at the end of the day, they're just running their business. And that's what they do.

Brian Glick  16:12

Yeah, I mean, I'll say, you know, just even starting chain, and, you know, we had more resources than a lot of MSMEs at the beginning, even just from, you know, my background and being in the industry a long time, but things like how do I hire an employee in another country, right, like that, in and of itself, when you start at zero? You know, absent that network that I already had, I don't know how we would have figured that. It's that starting point, it's a jumping off point of even knowing where the resources are to begin, the conversation is very intimidating. Right. And I say that as somebody that English is my first language. Right? Right. No, I totally appreciate what you're saying.

Cesar Vence  16:53

I look, I mean, I think small business owners, I mean, there's some other buyers who are more like brilliant people out there, because it is not easy to start a business. I mean, it's not easy, in any way it is really unique to you know, just be out there on their own kind of like intrapreneurs are really unique individuals for a number of reasons. But that being one of them, and you got to be out there, you gotta put yourself out there, got to be willing to take risk, and you got to be willing to fail and then get back up. Right. And that often happens. But I think it's important to know that, you know, as you failed, there's always other opportunities. And there's people that are other organizations that are willing to help and there's just tonnes and tonnes of resources for these small business owners.

Brian Glick  17:36

So nearshoring has been a big topic since the pandemic and since actually probably before the pandemic since the tariffs in 2016, you know, working in the region, kind of what do you see in the nearshoring space? And kind of what made you excited about that area? or scared or or whatever it would I don't want to put words in your mouth.

Cesar Vence  17:58

I mean, look, nearshoring is not for everyone, right. And we hear the term all over the place. I mean, there's nearshoring, for ensuring when it comes down to it in the region. I mean, there's obviously, you know, some countries that have gotten it, I get it, I understand that they have positioned themselves well for it, they have historically done it, and Mexico is a good example of that. There are other countries that are being more proactive, other countries that want to do it, but maybe logistically, they just geographically, they're not in the right place. But you know, again, I'm gonna refer to Colombia, for example, you know, Colombia is a country that's geographically, you know, strategically located. He shares both the coast, Caribbean and the Pacific. It has two main ports on both sides. But they haven't really thought about near shore and right. I mean, I think they don't see themselves as nearshoring. Destination. Yes, yet. There's a lot of trade, a lot of you know, commerce, and Colombia has done really, really well in the region. But I don't think the country has fully taken advantage of this nearshoring boom, or for ensuring boom. And there's an opportunity there. Right. I want to talk very briefly about a survey that the chamber that our team conducted last year, actually will start in 2022, as a result of the CEO Summit of the Americas. In the survey, it was a commitment that the Chamber made at the summit to contribute to a better understanding of the factors driving corporate sourcing decisions, right, and assessing those potential opportunities for new investment in nearshoring in the Americas, so we surveyed around 105, you know, C suite decision makers to understand where companies are in sort of deriving their supply chains and why in the survey was intended to be a starting point by establishing baselining from mentioned regarding corporate decision making. So some of the initial findings of this survey were, you know, and I'm really happy. I'll share the link with you, Brian, and perhaps you can share the survey results with some errors. But you know, what was really unique and relevant about this was that the survey provided insights from a broad cross section of sectors and company sizes. Notably, a significant number of small and mid sized company respondents suddenly find these large multinational companies are already implementing supply chain strategies and have the resources to, you know, sort of evaluate potential markets for nearshoring. While the medium is more companies lacked that information, right. And they have some preconceptions about sourcing manufacturing in the Americas. But what we found in the survey, there were sort of four main findings, the most important factor when deciding and you probably know these, well, you know, came down to logistics, I was really the number one factor here. So from sourcing goods, logistics was an important factor for 99% of the midsize and small companies and 93% of large companies. The other finding was Labor. Labor was a key driving factor for the respondents, you know, they won't make a decision or those decisions are made based on labor availability. The other one, which we already knew from their work that we do at the Chamber, we kind of went to the importance of their rule of law, right? Companies always want to make sure that anywhere they go, you know, there is predictability, accountability, stability, due process. So the rule of law is really key. And sorry, I say four, but it's three key findings. So when we think about the supply chain survey, you know, if you look at a lot of the countries in the Americas, I mean, they do have the potential to be great nearshoring destinations, right? I mean, there's logistics, there's labor availability, there's rule of law, I mean, I think the democratic institutions of the region are pretty strong. But the reality is, and actually, this is something that, you know, the survey showed us is that there's not this max, this huge exodus of, you know, companies out of Asia into the region, that's not happening. So when we're talking to governments, you know, I'm gonna go back to the Columbia case, you know, we present to the findings of the survey to the government, to the private sector, but we approach them more from the enabling environment, right, like, companies want an enabling environment that allows them to grow, right? So again, going back to rule of law, going back to predictability, stability, in basketball really comes down to look nearshoring is not for everyone, right? I think everyone wants to have an insurance strategy. Again, it's a term that gets thrown around all over the place, everyone wants to be part of it. But you also have to understand kind of like what your value proposition is in when we think about nearshoring. And, you know, also talking about economies of scale, and this is not for every country, however, there are opportunities for sort of a complimentary, you know, strategy to near shore, right. So I think that's where I see a lot of opportunities for our region where they can play sort of a complementary role to their value chains. So that's where we are today. And kind of that's how we've seen you responding

Brian Glick  23:19

with those three, when I think about this, and the conversations I have, I almost think of them in inverted list of the way you listen them, right, that that, you know, is the country stable first, right, and then labor because then maybe this is just because I've been in logistics, I'm like, you can sort out the logistics. But you can't like it as a business, you have a lot of control, right. So you know, if I have a small supplier who can't manage their logistics, I can buy the product from them in the country and I can manage the logistics, I can do all these things. But I can't fix the rule of law. Right, I can't fix political stability. And you know, many of the conversations that I've had in Washington have been, you know, and then we talked the other day about an RFP, I just saw from customs about projects that help increase that stability and rule of law, being the precursor to then being able to build strong trade relationships, right. And, you know, without getting overly philosophical, this idea that strong trade is an enabler of stability and stability is an enabler of strong trade, and that you can, you know, these things are very, very intertwined with each other. And I think a lot of Americans sometimes lose track of how important trade is to stability. Yes. So I have this, as you were talking about this kind of matrix that I built in my head of talent. I'm still a computer programmer, but like, you've got small businesses and large enterprises. And so you can have, you know, trade between a small business and a large enterprise, a small business and a small business, you know, to large enterprises. Do you see small businesses on both sides of the equation or does it tend to be more Are someone small working with someone? You know, I'm a little vendor who wants to sell to Walmart? Or do you see small businesses connecting with each other as well,

Cesar Vence  25:08

That's a great point. So I think the MSME conference was a good example of this. And what I saw happening at the conference was, and this happened very organically. I mean, I think there was a networking component to the conference. But what I saw during the two days were MSMEs, from the US and from the region connecting with each other, talking about working together, talking about complimenting each other, and talking about selling to each other. So I think it's a mix of the two, right? I mean, I think small businesses, I think they're all aspire to, you know, be have their product in their Walmart, or Costco, or, you know, one of these big retailers, but I think they also see the value of working with their peers, and oftentimes, those connections with their peers is what opens other doors in the market. So, you know, when I was working for the city of Atlanta, we actually launched a programme to partner Atlanta entrepreneurs with intrapreneurs, in the continent of Africa. And we will have these sort of webinars where they will talk to each other, they will share best practices, they will connect, and then we build this, it was a pretty simple, straightforward, you know, LinkedIn channel, you know, where they connected, and they stayed in touch. And then we saw these, you know, businesses and, you know, transactions started to happen, right? Same thing here, you know, like some of the intrapreneurs that participated in the MSME conference, you know, they're talking to their peers, here, they're talking about maybe setting up a small operation in the US, or you have, you know, a US base MSME, talking about setting up an operation somewhere in the region, because they're interested in entering, you know, the Latin American market. So, I think it's a combination of both in, there's I mean, I think a lot of them aspire to be, you know, feature or work with the larger companies. And, you know, having worked with a lot of these larger enterprises, you know, I've really come to appreciate how they're very intentional about working with MSMEs, you know, and including them into, you know, their sort of value chains. So there's opportunities on both sides, right?

Brian Glick  27:27

I think one of the things and we have a lot of listeners who work inside of logistics service providers, and international freight forwarders, and customs brokers and the like, I think one of the very untapped opportunities is, when you have MSMEs, working with each other, that logistics provider, that customs broker can fill in those gaps, right, if you go to sell to, to Walmart to target, they have professionals who know how to teach you the export rules of your country if they need to, right. But when you have two small businesses together, you know, I think there's logistics providers, especially smaller logistics providers, paired with those small MSMEs on both sides can often be that knowledge base. And I know we used to do when I was more on the operation side, that was a big piece of what we did was, you know, it's kind of to serve as the import department for our customers, right and bring that knowledge. And I think for the MSMEs, just knowing that logistics, good logistics providers, and good customs brokers, and people who, you know, do this, see it as a profession can be a really trusted partner in that process, not just the person you call the same way you would, if you're just sending something through the post office, right that you engage them early, and they can explain these tariff rules, and they can explain, okay, you need to plan this buffer time because of Port congestion or this, you know, that they're very, very good partner to small businesses, and often a lot more value than what they get paid for it, because they became very passionate people. And we just love to teach it. So

Cesar Vence  29:04

yeah, no, look, I have the opportunity to work with some of these logistics providers that you're talking about, you know, work very closely with DHL FedEx ups, and you know, they are really committed to working with MSMEs. And to your point, they have all kinds of programmes within their sort of overall programming to support MSMEs precisely because it is for an MSME I mean, just the thought of shipping something across the world, dealing with customs, again, kind of going back to some of their challenges that they have around information and resources. You know, for them, it should really be a simplified process, right where they are just because they got so much more to worry about. But these companies, I think, have done such a great job, creating resources, creating programmes and facilitating those transactions, right. They've kind of, you know, to your point, they've also come up kind of become that, you know, there are consultants for these MSMEs. But he's really unique because, you know, it is part of the DNA of this logistics, you know, enterprises to support MSME. And, you know, also think about like the, you know, like a company like Amazon, we've done some really interesting work with them in the past, you know, I've partnered with Amazon to create sort of a capacity building training for MSMEs, we did something similar with UPS, you know, one of my favorite projects that I've been involved with, when I was working for the city of Atlanta, I partner with UPS, and we launched the women's expert University, where we identify, you know, a group of women, women, MSMEs, who are interested in exporting, and then we put them through these, you know, I think it was a six month programme. And this actually, this all happened during the pandemic. So as you can imagine, it was even more interesting, because we're here we're talking about global commerce, you know, all during the pandemic, but we put them through this curriculum where we pretty much walk them from A to Z on what they needed to do to export. Right. And this has been a programme, I mean, that was extremely successful and is being replicated all throughout the role now. And yeah, just kudos ups for that great work that they're doing. Awesome.

Brian Glick  31:18

Again, we're freight nerds, we really are nerds. Once you get us talking about this stuff, we can't shut up anyway. So I can see it is very easy to build a six month course. Cool, we're running up on time. So wrap us up with what kind of things you are excited about? What's coming up next? Or what do you see in the future that's really got you passionate,

Cesar Vence  31:37

I see a lot of opportunities. The region is extremely dynamic. You know, just as you mentioned, you're like a logistics nerd. I mean, a Latin America public policy nerd. This is what gets me excited. Latin America is an extremely dynamic region. We just had elections in Mexico. Just today, Mexico elected its first female president, you know, we have new presidents. Bill Kelly was just inaugurated this weekend, we have a relatively new president in Argentina. I mean, there's a lot happening in the region, whether you like it or not, there's a lot of opinions. But this is a really dynamic region. So I'm really excited about you know, what's next for the region, there's a lot of opportunities. You know, we are the US Chamber in the international division, our America's team, we're right at the middle of everything that's happening as relates to the commercial regional relationship, right. So from all the way from Canada, to Chile, you know, our teams are actively engaging governments, both at the national and sub national level, the US private sector is, you know, fully committed, fully engaged. So I'm just excited about, you know, the number of opportunities. And, you know, I will be remiss if I didn't talk about just the opportunities that I see, for the US Colombia bilateral relationship, lots of work has been done around, you know, the energy transition, healthcare axis, digital transformation, innovation, and again, the US private sector, it's right in the middle of that they're ready to work with the government, they're ready to work with, you know, partners in countries, so we just see a lot of opportunities. And the same thing goes for other markets, right? Probably how to say, like, just my favorite thing about the work that I get to do is just to learn and to kind of be in the middle of all the great things that the US private sector does, we're on the roll. I mean, before I came into these, you know, you know, the names, you know, the big companies, you know, what they do, but then once you start learning more about them, and you start kind of getting more sort of in the trenches with them, you realize that it goes beyond the economic impact, right, like the investment numbers that we all talk about, and the jobs created. But these companies really become part of the DNA of that sort of, you know, that commercial engine of the economies, right. So they become fully engraved, and they also are having this great social impact, right. So one thing that I'm also really excited about for this year for the Columbia programme is we are launching an impact dashboard. And what the dashboard will do is to measure the impact of the US private sector in the Colombian economy, not just from a financial and fiscal perspective, but also from a social perspective. So I'm really excited about that. He's a pilot project, you know, I'm hoping that, you know, we'll be able to replicate this through the region, because again, I mean, there's the impact that the US private sector has, all throughout the region and throughout the world again, you know, it goes beyond zero investment and jobs. 

Brian Glick  34:57

I'm gonna say from one nerd to another. Then, if it were the thing you're most excited about as a dashboard, you have earned your credibility with everyone in logistics because we love our dashboards. So I think that's an awesome place to wrap up. You've got to be excited about all of this. And thank you so much for coming on the show.

Cesar Vence  35:16

Thank you for having me.

Brian Glick  35:19

Well, I hope everyone learned a lot during that episode. I know that I personally did. So it was great to see different perspectives and really hear some personal stories and people who are able to take their passion and turn it into a career. So we'll get some links in the show notes to the various things that were discussed during the event, as well as the US Columbia Business Council and the Chamber of Commerce. And I hope you all enjoyed the episode. As always, be sure to check out our LinkedIn profile for chain.io as well as the blog for lots of upcoming events and webinars. And I will talk to you soon

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written on June 26, 2024
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