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IFC, World Bank Help Honduras Improve and Simplify Trade Logistics Procedures


In Washington, D.C.:
Vanessa Bauza
Phone: +202-458-1603
E-mail : VBauza@ifc.org

Tegucigalpa, Honduras, June 26, 2013 – The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank are helping the Government of Honduras streamline and improve their trade procedures to promote the country’s integration into regional and global markets.

In coordination with Honduras’s Secretariat of the Office of the Presidency, and the National Agriculture and Livestock Health Service (SENASA) of the Secretariat of Agriculture (SAG), IFC and the World Bank today launched a new online system for phyto-zoo sanitary import certificates, which will reduce the time and cost needed to import raw materials and food, such as meat and vegetables. The online system is expected to generate US$3.6 million in savings for local companies importing goods to Honduras between fiscal years 2014-2018.

Honduras’s Minister of Agriculture Jacobo Regalado, the Vice Minister of the Presidency Rodrigo Garcia, the President of the Honduran Council of the private sector (COHEP) Aline Flores Pavón, and other government and business representatives attended the launch.

Regalado, said “this online application for phytosanitary and zoosanitary certificates will help save time and money for importers as they will not have to travel to SENASA’s offices in Tegucigalpa for this procedure, which previously took one to three days.”

Honduran traders cite red-tape as one of the hurdles to obtaining import approvals and licenses. This can lead to time consuming procedures and arbitrary inspections. The approvals are only provided to traders in hard copy in Tegucigalpa, which often leads to extra travel costs and delays. Currently, it takes approximately three days for traders to comply with SENASA’s procedures and obtain approvals. With the new online system, traders are expected to receive approvals in less than two hours.

“Agribusiness Trade logistics reforms are an important element to achieve economic competitiveness, growth, and reduce poverty in a country like Honduras which has an economy based mostly on agriculture.  Continuity on trade logistics reforms remain an important point of the development agenda, requiring strong institutional and technical support in the upcoming political transition" said Giuseppe Zampaglione, World Bank Representative in Honduras.

As a next step, IFC is providing technical assistance to streamline exports of Honduran goods such as bananas, coffee and shrimp. IFC is creating a system to allow the country’s Center of Exports (CENTREX), supported by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), to exchange information with the Customs systems, thus reducing time and cost for exports.

Mayra Alfaro de Morán, IFC Senior Operations Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “IFC supports trade facilitation improvements as a key driver for the competitiveness of the private sector in Honduras and Central America. The time and cost it takes to comply with export and import processes in the region are very high and can block potential access to global markets and related economic growth.”

About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org, www.miga.org, and www.ifc.org.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.