Leather manufacturers participate in first FINPYME ExportPlus workshop


Guatemala City – On February 8, 2010, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) hosted thirteen leather manufacturers for the inaugural FINPYME ExportPlus workshop in Guatemala. During the workshop, the participants learned about water treatment systems and processing techniques that could significantly reduce the water pollution that often accompanies traditional leather manufacturing methods. Producing leather without chemicals and mitigating environmental risks will improve the competitiveness and export capacity of the participating manufacturers. The technical expert who led the training session will also work directly with one participating company, Italpiel, to conduct a feasibility study for a new water treatment process.

FINPYME ExportPlus supports the objectives of WTO’s Aid for Trade initiative. Under this program, technical experts provide direct assistance to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) improve their competitiveness and their capacity to export. In Guatemala, FINPYME ExportPlus will include nine workshops on diverse topics, such as labeling requirements, export management, phytosanitary standards, and productivity improvement. Specific SME sectors to benefit from the program are leather manufacturing, agriculture, coffee, and wood products. In addition to group workshops, experts will also provide technical assistance to individual firms for trade certifications and process and management improvements. The FINPYME ExportPlus program in Guatemala receives funding from the Government of Italy.

The IIC 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 2009, the IIC reached US$1.4 billion in assets and approved forty operations channeling US$299.8 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: Antonello Bove

Telephone: (202) 623-3905

Email: antonellob@iadb.org