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IDB fund approves US$848,412 to enhance the competitiveness of Colombian SME exports to the U.S. market

The Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF)  today announced the approval of a US $848,412 grant for a comprehensive support program to help small and medium-sized exporters  (SMEXs) in Colombia obtain access to the U.S. market.

The objective of the program is to establish a model to assist SMEXs  to systematically understand and leverage the trade opportunities offered by the U.S. market, thereby improving their productivity and competitiveness.

The program components include raising awareness of the market opportunities and selecting SMEXs capable of  exporting to the US market, providing diagnostic assessment and technical assistance for SMEXs to comply with the non-tarriff requirements for exports to the United States, and offering  training on the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to better access  international  markets.

“Colombian SMEXs face many challenges when they export, basically due to a lack of in-depth knowledge of technical export issues, U.S. import regulations and international standards,” said IDB project team leader, Christine Ternent. “Some SMEXs therefore give up on exporting when faced with the magnitude of the requirements.”

This occurs mostly because small and medium businesses lack  effective support programs to help  adapt their products and services to the technical requirements of more sophisticated internacional markets like the U.S., added Ternent.

The grant will be executed by the Universidad Nacional Abierta y a Distancia (National Open and at a Distance University) during a 42-month period.

MIF, an autonomous fund administered by the IDB, supports private sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean, focusing on microenterprise and small business.

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