IIC Launches FINPYME ExportPlus Program in Belize

03/07/2014

Technical assistance program with more than 2,500 beneficiaries across Latin America and the Caribbean comes to Belize

Belize City, Belize, March 7, 2014 — The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) has launched FINPYME ExportPlus in Belize, an export program for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that has already trained more than 2,500 companies across 16 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean for better access to export markets.

The launch event in Belize City was attended by local entrepreneurs and representatives from private and public sector institutions. A workshop on food safety, phytosanitary and export requirements held on the days following the event trained a first round of 30 Belizean food and beverage producers interested in taking their products abroad.

Speaking at the opening event, Bernard Geenen, the Trade and Economic Counselor of the Wallonia Region of Belgium, noted “It gives us great pleasure and satisfaction to extend our help and support to the SMEs of Belize. Our experiences in Haiti and Panama, the expertise of our consultants, and our excellent collaboration with the IIC will help us improve the efficiency of Belizean SMEs and their international sales.”

The Wallonia Region of Belgium is a key sponsor of the FINPYME ExportPlus program in Belize. The launching ceremony also received organizational support from the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (Beltraide), the Belize Chamber of Commerce, and Scotiabank. “We are delighted to join forces with the IIC to equip Belizean companies with the know-how they need to take advantage of opportunities on the global market,” noted Beltraide’s Export Development Officer Diana Hernandez.

Since its inception in 2009, FINPYME ExportPlus has expanded to 16 countries across the region. The program receives support from key donors and strategic partners, mobilizing more than US$4.6 million in technical assistance resources to help SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean become more competitive and improve their export capacity. FINPYME ExportPlus complements the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) activities in support of the Aid-for-Trade initiative of the World Trade Organization and receives financial support from the IIC’s 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