IDB Invest Partners with Belize Bank Limited to Boost Trade among Small and Midsized Businesses

Saturday, May 20th, 2023


IDB Invest welcomed Belize Bank Limited (BBL) to its Trade Finance Facilitation Program (TFFP), opening a US$10 million credit line with a 180-day tenor.

IDB Invest’s program will help BBL increase its foreign trade products for its small and medium enterprise (SME) clients, adjusting its products to meet client demands. It will also help BBL cater the growing financial needs of the private sector and support key business linkages in the rising demand for goods and services. The program will also expand support to existing industries, and new and emerging businesses in sustaining productivity and job creation.

The signing ceremony took place today at IDB Invest’s office in Belize, with the participation of CID General Manager, Tomas Bermudez, Rocío Medina Bolívar, IDB Group Country Manager in Belize, Marisela Alvarenga, IDB Invest Division Chief for Financial Institutions, and Filippo Alario, BBL Executive Chairman.

Belize Bank Limited offers the full range of retail banking products to its clients through a wide branch network. The credit line will support BBL as it diversifies its network of correspondent banks to offer trade products to a wider range of SMEs and clients in Belize.

Financial systems in the Caribbean and other small economies have been affected by “de-risking” policies of international banks, and the high compliance costs of these large banks have left banks like BBL with limited access to trade finance and corresponding banking networks.

“This operation will contribute with the development of MSMEs allowing them to access the necessary funding to become competitive in the international markets. As we know, MSMEs are the backbone of the economy in Belize, providing employment to more than two thirds of the labor force,” said Rocío Medina Bolivar, the newly appointed IDB Country Representative for Belize.

IDB Invest’s Marisela Alvarenga said, “The incorporation of The Belize Bank Limited to IDB Invest’s Trade Finance Facilitation Program will increase investment and trade in the country, necessary for strengthening the financial systems across the Caribbean.”

Belize Bank Limited’s Filippo Alario said, “As Belize’s largest bank we are delighted to become part of IDB Invest TFFP Program’s network as Latin American and Caribbean Financial Intermediaries. Through this partnership, we look forward to promoting trade and contribute to our clients’ ability to become more competitive by accessing financing and grow their international business as well as to contribute to the growth of the Belizean economy.”

This partnership reinforces the commitment of IDB Invest and Belize Bank Limited to create a hub for investment and trade for the nation and the region while creating opportunities for communities. This deal is expected to contribute to two United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8) and Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10).

About IDB Invest

IDB Invest, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to promoting the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. IDB Invest finances sustainable companies and projects to achieve financial results and maximize economic, social, and environmental development in the region. With a portfolio of $15.3 billion in asset management and 375 clients in 25 countries, IDB Invest provides innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the needs of its clients in a variety of industries.

About The Belize Bank Limited

The Belize Bank Limited (BBL) is the largest commercial bank in Belize, following its recent acquisition of Scotiabank Belize in November 2020. Headquartered in Belize City, the Bank began its life as the Bank of British Honduras in 1903, however, under its current iteration, was incorporated in 1985. BBL is the largest full service commercial banking operation in Belize providing a range of banking and financial services to both domestic and international customers through 11 branches across all districts in Belize, and a network of 28 ATMs, the only bank with a nationwide ATM network.


 

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