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IDB and Maersk Group join forces to expand the ConnectAmericas support to SMEs

SeaLand, Maersk Group regional shipping company, and ConnectAmericas signed a collaboration agreement for two years

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and SeaLand, Maersk Group regional shipping company, signed a partnership agreement that will deliver significant benefits to small and medium sized enterprises affiliated to ConnectAmericas, the first business social network of the Americas that provides business opportunities, training and financing.

The two-year agreement will make SeaLand, based in Florida, a strategic partner of ConnectAmericas. The two organizations will develop a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) on logistics and an innovative calculator that will allow users to estimate the costs of shipping their products to clients abroad. Furthermore, the partners will collaborate in developing and testing new features on the site to create new business communities. These are virtual marketplaces where companies can upload information about what they are looking to buy or sell, post relevant resources, and ask questions to their peers.

“SeaLand believes that every box matters and no business is too small. By becoming an activity partner to ConnectAmericas, we are able to support trade development and reduce barriers by unlocking the potential of small companies across the Americas” said Craig Mygatt, SeaLand CEO.

"There is a demand by entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean to insert themselves in international markets. This important alliance strengthens the menu of tools and business opportunities offered by ConnectAmericas. For us, this platform is a window to the world opening special opportunities to SMEs with export potential," said Fabrizio Opertti, head of the IDB’s Trade and Investment Unit.

ConnectAmericas is a non-profit initiative spearheaded by the IDB to support the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of Latin America and the Caribbean that are looking for business opportunities outside of their countries. The free online platformhas 50,000 registered entrepreneurs from 100 countries and over 750,000 unique visitors from 180 countries. In addition, the ConnectAmericas Academy currently offers various training courses and will soon host the abovementioned MOOC on logistics.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

About SeaLand

SeaLand is a regional, ocean transportation company dedicated to the Intra-Americas market and is a division of the Maersk Group. SeaLand commenced operations on January 1, 2015 with local, knowledgeable sales and support staff positioned throughout the Americas to serve the unique requirements of shippers in this market. The trusted, re-established SeaLand brand reflects a strong tradition of customer-centric service in this trade region.