IIC Launches FINPYME ExportPlus Program in Panama

06/05/2014

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

Panama City, Panama, June 6, 2014 — The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) has launched FINPYME ExportPlus in Panama, giving small and medium-sized Panamanian enterprises access to export-oriented training and advisory services that have already benefitted 2,500 companies across 16 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The first series of training workshops on strategic planning is already underway in the country.

Local entrepreneurs and representatives from private and public-sector institutions attended the launch event in Panama City. Business owners learned about processes and certifications for exporting to the United States in a workshop that covered certification requirements, contractual terms, financial tools, logistics and distribution channels.

Speaking at the event, Koen Lenaerts, Ambassador of Belgium to Panama, noted: “Belgium and the region of Wallonia are proud to support the IIC's FINPYME ExportPlus program, strengthening economic and commercial relations between Belgium and Panama. This technical program activity represents a great opportunity for Panamanian SMEs to increase their competitiveness at the international level.”

The Wallonia Region of Belgium is a key sponsor of the FINPYME ExportPlus program in Panama. The IIC is receiving support from the Panamanian Ministry of Commerce and Industries and other strategic partners including the Panama Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, the American Chamber of Commerce in Panama (PanAmcham), and Sindicato de Industriales de Panamá.

Melissa Miranda, Executive Director of Sindicato de Industriales de Panamá, stated: “This is a very exciting initiative which will help us improve our enterprises’ internationalization processes and learn more about the US market, in terms of quality requirements and distribution channels.”

FINPYME ExportPlus receives support from key donors and strategic partners, mobilizing more than US$4.6 million in technical assistance resources. These initiatives 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.

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 2013, the IIC approved 71 operations totaling US$415.4 million. Since its inception in 1989, the IIC has approved more than 800 direct loans to SMEs and financial intermediaries, for a total of US$5.21 billion. An additional US$3.01 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