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IIC sponsors B2B meeting for firms from Korea, Latin America and the Caribbean

IIC Program Facilitates Joint Ventures between SMEs

BUSAN, Korea – Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from across Latin America and the Caribbean have met with Korean businesses in Busan, Korea in an effort to establish partnerships and build cross-continental joint ventures. The business-to-business (B2B) meeting drew participants from five countries and was organized by the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and the Korean Council on Latin America and the Caribbean (KCLAC) in the context of the Annual Meeting of the Boards of Governors of the IDB and the IIC.

The B2B event is part of a multi-year project financed by the Korean Government aimed at strengthening economic ties between Korea and Latin America and the Caribbean. The goal is to help SMEs move beyond export-import relations into the promotion of investment, the transfer of know-how and technology, and the establishment of joint ventures. The effort represents a new level of economic exchange between SMEs on both sides of the Pacific.

“The idea behind the B2B Korea-LAC Program is to create a space where Korean and Latin American and Caribbean companies can meet and discuss opportunities for joint ventures, licensing agreements, and other forms of joint business relations that boost economic growth, build on Korea’s experience and know-how, and that have the potential to contribute to private sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Jorge Roldán, Chief of the IIC’s Technical Assistance and Strategic Partnerships Division.

A-Tech Thermo is one of the Korean companies participating in the B2B event in Busan. The manufacturer of vehicle refrigeration systems left the meeting with a joint venture agreement with its longstanding Bogota-based partner company Refrival Colombia S.A.S.

Jae Ki Lee, CEO of A-Tech Thermo, noted: “We have been working with Refrival since 2008 and first started discussing a possible joint venture at an IIC B2B event in Colombia in 2013. Today we are taking the next step in our relationship where we will work and contribute to the mutual benefit of both our companies.

”The B2B initiative was launched in 2013 through a series of events in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Korea, and Peru. A total of 330 companies participated in the previous four business rounds, which have resulted in promising formal agreements to explore shared business interests and opportunities for joint ventures.

Business-to-business events are part of a larger IIC strategy that aims to strengthen ties between Korean and Latin American companies. The event series is supported by the Korean Government through the Korea-IIC SME Development Trust Fund.

About the IIC

The IIC, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, promotes private-sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We help companies streamline their management processes and provide them with funding in the form of equity investments, loans, and guarantees, as well as technical assistance, advisory services, and innovative knowledge products. In 2013, the IIC approved 71 operations totaling $415.4 million. Since its inception, the IIC has approved more than 800 direct loans to SMEs and financial intermediaries, for a total of $5.2 billion. An additional $3.0 billion has been mobilized through cofinancing and syndication agreements.

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