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RG-T3453 : ConnectAmericas Partnerships Program 2019

Project Status: Implementation

ConnectAmericas.com (CA) is an online social network for businesses. It is a platform designed to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) of the Americas carry out more and better international trade and investment transactions. It was launched in March 2014 and currently has 260,000 business people from 150 countries registered on the platform, and 4 million unique users from 208 countries and territories representing companies of all sizes. CA allows business owners or representatives to: (i) publish or apply to purchasing announcements from companies and government entities, (ii) find clients, suppliers or partners by searching a database of 60,000 companies, (iii) discover business support services and programs available in their countries, (iv) register for business events in their countries and the rest of the world, (v) apply to receive financing from banks, and (vi) strengthen their skills through online courses, articles, videos, and tools. 3.1 In addition, CA, in partnership with over 300 Local Partners (Trade and Investment Promotion Organizations, Business Chambers, and Trade Associations), organizes several business summits yearly. These include: 3.1.1 The Asia-LAC Business Summits (ChinaLAC, JapanLAC, KoreaLAC): These events bring together business representatives and senior government officials from both regions to explore business and collaboration opportunities between Asia and LAC. CA and the trade promotion agencies of these Asian member countries organized these events.3.1.2 LAC Flavors: This is one of the most important business meetings in the agribusiness sector in the region. LAC Flavors brings together food exporters from LAC countries and international buyers through structured one-on-one meetings. 3.1.3 Outsource2LAC: The LAC Outsourcing and Offshoring Summit Outsource2LAC  brings experts from all over the world to present to LAC services exporters (from sectors such as BPO, KPO, and ITO) the latest trends and opportunities in the global services industry. It also facilitates one-on-one business meetings through matchmaking activities.3.2 CA is being developed and disseminated in a very favorable context due to the solid growth of intra-regional trade and investment in LAC, and the increased use of technology and internet tools by SMEs. In fact, in the last decade, intra-regional trade grew more than tenfold. However, although the vast majority of companies in the region are SMEs (at least 3.7 million with 5 employees or more) they only account for 13% of LAC exports (the SME participation rate in Thailand is 47%, in Malaysia 54%, in Eastern Europe & Central Asia 35%, and in East Asia & Pacific 32%). This scenario provides powerful reasons to strengthen efforts to overcome the barriers that LAC SMEs face when they attempt to internationalize. Also, SMEs in LAC are increasingly taking advantage of the possibilities that the internet offers. A recent study showed that Internet usage reached 378 million people in LAC, representing a 47% increase with respect to 2013%. 3.3 The purpose of this operation is to increase the value that CA offers its users by supporting the technology development of CA, the dissemination of CA, and the creation of contents for SMEs to be distributed through CA. 3.4 The scope of the project is regional by nature and all the IDB member countries stand to be beneficiaries of this operation on an equal footing. As of today, CA has over 260,000 registered users from over 150 countries, and the features of the platform allows all of them to benefit equally. 3.5 The objectives and activities of the operation are aligned with the Bank's Strategy for Global and Regional Integration (GN-2565-4) as it will facilitate regional commerce and promote the internationalization of SMEs, thereby increasing the demand for trade-related infrastructure (e.g. transportation and customs).

Project Detail

Project Number
RG-T3453
Approval date
May 15, 2019
Project Country
Regional
Project Sector
TRADE
Project Subsector
EXPORT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION
Project Type
Technical Cooperation
Project Lending Type
SG
Project Modality
Project Facility Type
Environmental and social impact category
C
Project Status
Implementation
Operation Number
ATN/CF-17345-RG

Financial Information

Project Number
RG-T3453
Project Status
Implementation

IDB Financing

Financing type
TCN
Fund
Common Account - COFAB
Reporting currency
USD - United States Dollar
Reporting date
Nov/25/2022

Roles & Responsibilities

Contract signature date
May/15/2019

Project Information

Total Cost
USD 200,000
Country counterpart financing
USD 0
Amount
USD 200,000

Approved

Title
Type
Project Number
Date Published
TC Document
RG-T3453
May 21, 2019