IIC helps strengthen partnerships between Italian and Latin American SMEs


Bologna, Italy – On Wednesday, October 22, 2008, representatives of the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) participated in a conference on business opportunities in Latin America for Italian SMEs titled "Italia-America Latina: Le opportunità di cooperazione e business per le PMI italiane." The event was organized by Unioncamere Emilia-Romagna, Unioncamere Toscana, Promofirenze, BIC Lazio, and the IIC. During the inaugural session of the conference, the IIC’s Executive Director for Italy, Francesca Manno, gave a presentation on IDB Group activities.

This event was organized in the context of the Latin America Project created to reinforce cooperation and partnerships for business promotion between Italian and Latin American and Caribbean enterprises. The project specifically seeks to create a network of Italian SMEs (principally in Emilia-Romagna, Toscana, and Lazio, through business associations) and Latin American SMEs that are interested in developing opportunities for joint business involving trade, investments, and the transfer of know-how and technology. More than 150 participants attended the event, which was followed by meetings among Italian businesspeople and trade representatives from fifteen Latin American countries. Also present were high-level representatives from the major chambers of commerce in the area.

According to Antonello Bove, from the IIC’s Italian Development Program, "The Corporation acts as a catalyst to attract other resources, such as additional financing, technology, and know-how. These resources are mobilized via direct and indirect financing and by identifying partners for joint ventures. This model can be replicated in other European countries that are members of the IIC."

"We are very pleased with the results of the conference," said Ugo Girardi, Secretary-General of Unioncamere Emilia-Romagna. "Such encounters are an excellent example of a strategic alliance between Italian chambers of commerce and multilateral organizations like the IIC because they link Italian and Latin American SMEs in an effort to promote investment opportunities and foster the economic development of participating countries."

The Inter-American Investment Corporation is a multilateral financial institution that is a member of 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 2007, the IIC reached US$1.2 billion in assets and approved 62 transactions channeling US$470 million to SMEs 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: Jorge Roldán

Telephone: (202) 623-3948

Email: jorgero@iadb.org