IIC Helps Guatemalan SMEs Export to Europe


Workshop under the IIC’s FINPYME ExportPlus program prepares local entrepreneurs for trade opportunities abroad

Guatemala City, Guatemala, November 30, 2012 — The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) has trained close to 50 Guatemalan entrepreneurs on export processes and regulations for Europe, helping them identify opportunities in the European market and teaching them about logistics and financial tools for their export business.

The workshop is part of the IIC’s flagship FINPYME ExportPlus program and comes in the wake of a recent Association Agreement between the European Commission and six Central American countries, which opens up markets for trade on either side of the Atlantic. The training session received support from the Embassy of Italy in Guatemala, the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Guatemala, and the local Banco de los Trabajadores (Bantrab).

Speaking at the event, María Luisa Flores, Guatemalan Deputy Minister of the Economy, underscored that “The FINPYME ExportPlus program is crucial for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are at the heart of our economic strategy.”

Mauricio Álvarez, Bantrab’s corporate manager for planning and strategic management, added, “Bantrab supports the FINPYME ExportPlus program’s focus on the development of SMEs, which are the core of our business segment.”

FINPYME ExportPlus was launched in Guatemala in 2009 to raise the export profile of SMEs and increase their competitiveness. Since its inception, the program has benefitted some 350 SMEs in Guatemala and has spread to ten more countries across Latin America and the Caribbean.

FINPYME ExportPlus receives financial support from Italy's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is aligned with the Aid for Trade initiative launched by the World Trade Organization in 2005.

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