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Banca Promerica Becomes First Costa Rican Bank to Join IFC's Trade Finance Program


In Washington, IFC:
Adriana Gómez

Phone: 1-202-458-5204

E-mail:
agomez@ifc.org

In Costa Rica, Banca Promerica:

Luis Carlos Rodríguez

Phone: 506-2519-8000

E-mail:
lrodriguez@promerica.fi.cr


Washington, D.C., April 1, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced that Banca Promerica has become the first bank in Costa Rica to join its Global Trade Finance Program to expand trade opportunities for local small and midsize businesses.

Banca Promerica, one of the largest banks in Costa Rica, has joined IFC’s program as an issuing bank. This initiative will help Promerica, which targets small and medium enterprises, address the impact of the global financial crisis on its clients.


The IFC Global Trade Finance Program supports trade with emerging markets worldwide by providing risk mitigation. By extending and complementing banks’ capacity to deliver trade finance solutions, IFC aims to increase developing countries’ share of global trade and promote South-South flows of goods and services. The program now has a network of more than 300 participating banks from around the world.


“IFC’s trade line will allow us to better assist our SME clients,” said Mario Castillo, General Manager of Banca Promerica. “We can help them take advantage of opportunities in the global market, particularly in the context of the recently signed Costa Rica’s free trade agreements with the United States, China, and Panama.”


Marcos Brujis, IFC Country Manager for Mexico and Central America, noted: “IFC’s support for Banca Promerica is part of our strategy to expand trade finance solutions to SMEs in Costa Rica and Central America, thereby facilitating their access to international markets. Strengthening international trade in Central America will contribute to the overall social and economic development of the region.”

IFC is expanding operations in Central America, focusing on access to finance, private-sector competitiveness, and infrastructure development.  As of June 2008, IFC’s total portfolio in the region was $644 million, a 19 percent increase over the previous year.


Since launching the Global Trade Finance Program, IFC has issued $1.3 billion in guarantees to facilitate trade flows with Latin America and the Caribbean. The network of issuing banks for the region has expanded to 33 banks in 13 countries. More than 40 percent of the guarantees issued benefited local small and midsize businesses and supported interregional trade flows between emerging market nations.  For more information about the program, contact Antonio Alves, Head of Trade Finance for Latin America and the Caribbean Region, at
aalves@ifc.org, or visit www.ifc.org/gtfp.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, seeks to create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. It fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Its new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

For more information about Banca Promerica, please visit:
https://www.promerica.fi.cr/.