IIC Launches FINPYME ExportPlus in Guatemala

05/26/2009

The project is in line with the World Trade Organization’s Aid for Trade initiative.

Guatemala City, Guatemala - On May 27, 2009, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), with support from the government of Italy, held a seminar to launch its FINPYME ExportPlus program. Present at the event were Economy Minister Rubén Morales, the Comité Coordinador de Asociaciones Agrícolas Comerciales Industriales y Financieras (CACIF), and the IDB. The FINPYME ExportPlus program seeks to enhance the ability of small and medium-size companies to access the export markets. The pilot project will provide SMEs with direct technical assistance that will yield specific benefits and concrete results; it includes a market study and the selection of companies in strategic sectors that can benefit from the program.

Aid for Trade is an initiative launched in 2006 by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in order to help developing countries strengthen their ability to operate in the international market, improving their trade promotion programs. The WTO is working with the IDB to disseminate information on the initiative. With FINPYME ExportPlus, the IIC, as a member of the IDB Group, seeks to support SME internationalization and complement IDB programs related to the WTO initiative.

The results of this project will help define the scope of the initiative in the medium term and its potential for expansion to other countries in the region. Among the strategic partners working on the initiative are the Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce, Agexport, CACIF, Citibank Guatemala, Grupo Financiero de Occidente, Cámara del Agro de Guatemala, and Universidad Rafael Landívar.

According to Antonello Bove, who is in charge of the project at the IIC, "FINPYME ExportPlus is an excellent opportunity for Guatemalan SMEs to receive technical assistance, improving their access to export markets for their products. It will add value to the private sector, creating a mechanism for capacity building in the area of technologies, knowledge, and certification."

The Inter-American Investment Corporation is a multilateral financial institution that is a member the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. It provides financing (in the form of equity investments, loans, guarantees, and other instruments) and advisory services to private enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2008, the IIC reached US$1.5 billion in assets and approved sixty-four transactions channeling US$300.55 million to small and medium-size enterprises in the region. The IIC’s mission is to promote the economic development of its regional member countries by encouraging the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size. For more information on the IIC’s activities, please visit www.iic.int.

Contact: Sylvia Szankay / Antonello Bove

Telephone: (202) 623-3878/(202) 623-3905

Email: antonellob@iadb.org