FINPYME ExportPlus Trains Central American Companies For Export

03/26/2014

IIC holds training workshops to help SMEs in Panama and Belize create export business plans

Panama City, Panama, March 26, 2014 — The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) held the first of its five-part series of training workshops aimed at increasing the strategic planning capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Belize and Panama. The program is designed to boost SME exports by helping companies draw up business plans to enter new markets.

“Companies will benefit from this program by gaining an understanding of how to create a strategic plan to expand their presence abroad,” noted Irma Chong, National Export Promotion Director of the Panamanian Ministry of Commerce and Industry. “The training will help the companies identify their strengths and weaknesses in order to become more competitive in the international market. We are pleased to be a part of this effort.”

The first sessions in both countries focused on business planning and project management methodology, helping participating companies create an export strategy with a view to accessing new markets. In Panama, the workshop was held in collaboration with the Panamanian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the American Chamber of Commerce in Panama, and the Chiriquí Chamber of Industry and Agriculture. In Belize, the National Export Agency Beltraide, Scotiabank, and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Belize provided support in the implementation of the program.

Select companies will improve their planning processes in training modules following later this year, helping them identify strategic goals and new business opportunities abroad. The workshops are part of the IIC’s FINPYME ExportPlus program, which provides training and technical support to SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean, improving their export profile and increasing their competitiveness. Implemented in seventeen countries across the region, the program has trained almost 2,500 SMEs to date.

FINPYME ExportPlus complements Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) activities in support of the Aid-for-Trade initiative of the World Trade Organization. The program is supported by a trust fund established by the Wallonia-Belgium initiative.

About the IIC

The IIC, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, promotes private-sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We help companies streamline management processes and provide them with financing in the form of equity investments, loans, and guarantees, as well as innovative technical assistance, advisory services, and knowledge products. In 2012, the IIC approved more than 70 operations totaling some US$400 million. Since its inception in 1989, the IIC has approved approximately 800 direct loans to SMEs and financial intermediaries, for a total of US$4.8 billion. An additional US$2.8 billion has been mobilized through cofinancing and syndication agreements. For more information on IIC activities, visit www.iic.org.

Contact: Jorge Roldán

Telephone: +1 (202) 623-3948

Email: jorgero@iadb.org