IIC Completes Export Training Series in El Salvador

12/07/2012

Political and industrial stakeholders gather at export forum sponsored by the IIC’s FINPYME ExportPlus program

San Salvador, El Salvador, December 7, 2012 — The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) has concluded an export training series for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in San Salvador with a forum organized in partnership with Corporación de Exportadores de El Salvador (COEXPORT).

The event gathered representatives from the Salvadoran Ministry of Economy, the Embassy of Italy in El Salvador, the Italian Chamber of Commerce, the Development Bank of El Salvador (BANDESAL), and USAID. Five local companies presented their export business plans, which they prepared over the course of the past seven months under the IIC’s FINPYME ExportPlus program.

“It was extremely gratifying to see this process through to the end, which lasted more than seven months,” said Oscar Servando López, BANDESAL’s business manager. “Initiatives that support SMEs are very important in that they enable them to reach new markets, create jobs, and invigorate the country’s economic activity.”

Carla Handal, the owner of Tamales El Charro, one of the participating companies, added: “By participating in the FINPYME ExportPlus program I now have an export plan and the know-how to export in a sustainable way, without risking the solvency of my business.”

Spanning some seven months, the workshop series helped participating enterprises create their own export strategy, identifying strategic goals and new business opportunities abroad. The other companies that presented their business plans at the forum were food producers Hacienda Los Nacimientos and Letras Café as well as two companies from the beauty products sector — Productos Naturales Shuchil and Shanti Belleza y Aromaterapia.

FINPYME ExportPlus was launched in El Salvador earlier this year and has already benefitted some 45 businesses. The program provides technical assistance to SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean, making them more competitive and raising their export capacity.

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 Italian Government which provides a total of US$285,000 for the program’s implementation in El Salvador.

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. In 2011, the IIC reached the symbolic one-billion-dollar mark in disbursements of own and third-party funds. Throughout our history, we have benefited more than 1.6 million SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean. For more information on the IIC, visit www.iic.org.

Contact: Jorge Roldán

Telephone: +1 (202) 623-3948

Email: jorgero@iadb.org