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The IDB Launches ConnectAmericas in Ecuador

Innovative Online Platform for SME Internationalization

Quito, Ecuador –Around 400 small and medium Ecuadorian businessmen and entrepreneurs participated today in an event that introduced ConnectAmericas.com, the first social network for businesses in the Americas. Organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) with support of strategic partners such as DHL Express, PROEcuador, the Quito Chamber of Commerce, FEDEXPOR and the Chamber of Industry and Production, the event offered the opportunityto Ecuadorian businesses to learn first-hand how ConnectAmericas can help them strengthen their companies and grow their business.

With more than 480,000 users from 176 countries and over 42,000 registered entrepreneurs from 70 countries during its first year of operations, this online platform enables direct connections with potential providers, clients, partners and investors in the region and the rest of the world, and provides access to tools and practical information about international trade, and financing opportunities for small and medium enterprises. ConnectAmericas is developed by the IDB with the support of Google, DHL, Visa and Alibaba.com.

The event was inaugurated by the IDB representative in Ecuador, Morgan Doyle. Later, Fabrizio Opertti, Chief of the Trade and Investment Unit of the IDB, and manager of the project, presented the platform. “After successful 18 months of operations, we are now officially launching ConnectAmericas.com in Ecuador. Currently more than 500 Ecuadorian entrepreneurs are registered members of our platform, but we are confident that many more will join them after learning firsthand how ConnectAmericas.com can help them to strengthen their companies and grow their businesses internationally,” Opertti emphasized.

Edith Villavicencio, general manager of DHL Express in Ecuador, explained to the attendees DHL’s mission to support the growth of Ecuadorian SMEs and highlighted the importance of DHL´s partnership with ConnectAmericas. “As a leading company in the international courier business, we want to become a strategic partner for SMEs. This is why we have created PYMEXPORTA, an integral logistics service focused on simplifying the internationalization process for the Ecuadorian SMEs. Our alliance with ConnectAmericas allows us to expand the reach of these programs, giving us the opportunity to serve a market of over one million SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean”, said Villavicencio.

Eduardo Cadena, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce of Quito, Daniel Legarda, Executive Vice-president of the Chamber of Industry and Production and Carolina Arcos, Sectorial Specialist from ProEcuador also participated in the meeting. They agreed in pointing out that ConnectAmericas will be a highly useful tool that will present new business opportunities for those SMEs that currently export, and will offer training and key tools for entrepreneurs that wish to internationalize. Finally, renowned Ecuadorian businessmen who have successfully internationalized their businesses shared their experiences and discussed strategies to maximize business opportunities for Ecuadorian exporters through ConnectAmericas.

This event will also take place in Guayaquil on Thursday November 19th at 3:30pm, at the Sheraton Hotel. The event will feature participation of Eduardo Egas, Minister of Industry and Productivity and will be supported from the Chamber of Small Industries of Guayaquil and the Export and Investment Promotion Corporation.

About the IDB

The mission of the Inter-American Development Bank is to improve lives. Founded in 1959, the IDB is one of the main sources 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 consulting services about policies, technical assistance and training to public and private clients across the region.

 

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