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
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
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.