On Monday the 10th of November, a total of 32 Trade Mission participants from various international solar companies gathered at the hotel bar in the Sheraton Costa Rica. After getting to know one another or greeting old companions, the group moved to have the first meeting and dinner at Hotel Grano de Oro. At this scenic location, introductions on Costa Rica’s solar energy market were given by, among others, Costa Rica’s solar association Acesolar and the BAC San Jose bank. Special opening words came from the countries’ Minister of Energy Dr. Edgar E. Gutiérrez-Espeleta.
On Tuesday morning meetings were held with senior representatives from the Ministerio de Ambiente, Energía, y Mares de Costa Rica, the utility company Grupo ICE, and the regulator ARESEP. In the afternoon the group left for a comfortable flight with Copa Airlines to Panamá City, where we were received by the Dutch ambassador in his residence to enjoy a networking dinner and the breathtaking view over Panamá City and its ocean bay.
Wednesday was packed with in-depth meetings. In the morning the group got acquainted with senior representatives from the Secretaria Nacional de Energía de Panamá, utility company ETESA, and regulator ASEP. In the afternoon a very insightful financial workshop was held at the IDB offices with involvement of several (local) banks and investors including Ecosolar, Global Bank, FMO, Proparco, OPIC and IFC. Both the commercial, the development, as well as the investor perspective was discussed. All combined with a lunch, plenary discussion, coffee, tea, and a closing networking drink. At the end of the day all together over 50 delegates enjoyed the pre-conference dinner at the fancy Ocean Deck Panama.
On Thursday and Friday, the Trade Mission delegations was joined by 100+ regional participants at the first edition of El Futuro Solar Centroamerica at the Hilton Panamá. Speakers during these days included, among many others, Adam James (Analyst at GTM Research), Thierry Leperq (CEO at Solairedirect), and Salvador Escobedo (SOLAM). A full range of topics has been discussed, such as government policies, financing opportunities, the global perspective, hybrid solutions, and practical business cases. Special attention was given to the specific country drill sessions to apply all these topics to the different Central American nations.
The long and fruitful meetings during the week were highly regarded by all participants, but the networking wouldn’t have been such a success without a Latin American twist on the Thursday evening, when a group of participants decided to experience the Panamá nightlife. We were taught how to dance a proper Latin dance and how Rum and Coke can benefit networking. We’d like to thank all participants for their enthusiastic input during the week!
TRADE MISSION & CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS
From companies such as:
A very interactive and comprehensive event any solar pv player should attend for knowing what's going on in Central America
Business Development Manager
Opportunity to meet the full value chain of key solar industry players, from manufacturers to financiers and developers. Also to learn about emerging solar markets.
Great conference to bring you up to speed with state of the art of PV in the region and to get introduced to major stakeholders in the market.
Senior Investment Officer
Well organized and very professional