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IDB aids medium-size companies in the Caribbean

The President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno, on Nov. 16 announced that the bank will provide financing and technical advice to medium-size enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean seeking to establish or expand international operations.

Moreno said the Washington-based financial institution will provide commercial banks with $70 million for expanding their lines of credit to firms wishing to export or invest abroad.

He said the bank also will make available $350 million in guarantees through local banks to companies that participate in international bidding for the provision of services.

Moreno made the announcement on the first day of the XXII Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government in Cadiz, Spain.

He said small and medium-size enterprises in the Caribbean region are lagging behind other regions of the world when it comes to overseas operations.

He, therefore, called for actions to “generate new and better opportunities to connect medium-size enterprises,” such as the Iberian Peninsula and Europe in general.

“We believe that it is critical to join efforts and build strategic partnerships that allow us to catalyze these operations on a much larger scale,” Moreno said.

He said the IDB will consolidate tools to help these firms’ efforts to operate overseas through a new platform called Connectaméricas.

Moreno said the platform, which will provide businesses with information on potential trade partners and investors, as well as data on tariffs and other trade rules, will be developed in collaboration with export promotion agencies and major business schools in the region and the Iberian Peninsula.

The IDB chief said the financial instruments for medium-size companies are part of a suite of options that the IDB makes available to firms of all sizes in the region.

He said the Bank’s Trade Finance Facilitation Program has supported 2,966 trade and investment transactions for companies from 18 countries in the region for a total of $2.6 billion.

Moreno said he was expected to participate in a conference with more than 100 companies from the Iberian peninsula, on Nov. 19, which will describe IDB partnership opportunities for the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. The event was expected to take place at the IDB’s European office in Madrid.

Updated 10:17 am, November 23, 2012:
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