Antoni Estevadeordal

Manager Integration and Trade Sector

Tel: +202 623 2614

Fax: +202 623 2169

E-mail: VPS-int [at] iadb.org ()

VPS-int [at] iadb.org

The IDB Group is composed of the Inter-American Development Bank, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF). The IIC focuses on support for private sector businesses, while the MIF promotes private sector growth through grants and investments, with an emphasis on microenterprises.

Inter-American Investment Corporation: http://www.iic.int/home.asp

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) works to improve lives in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Through financial and technical support for countries working to reduce poverty and inequality, the Bank helps improve health and education, and advance infrastructure and regional integration. The aim is to achieve development in a sustainable, climate-friendly way. With a history dating back to 1959, today the Bank is the leading source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). It provides loans, grants, and technical assistance; and conducts extensive applied development research. The IDB maintains a strong commitment to achieving measurable results and the highest standards of increased integrity, transparency, and accountability.

The Bank´s current focus areas include three development challenges: social inclusion and inequality, productivity and innovation, and economic integration – and three cross-cutting issues: gender equality and diversity, climate change and environmental sustainability; and institutional capacity and the rule of law.

Selected TCB programmes and initiatives in this guide

Supporting the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean into the global economy through the Regional Integration Fund
Trade facilitation: Single Window for Foreign Trade, Authorized Economic Operator, International Transit of Merchandise and Coordinated Border Management
South-South cooperation (SSC) programs
Successful projects

Capacity Building on Trade facilitation

The IDB, trough INT and INTAL, and the General Secretariat of the Central American Integration System (SICA) joined efforts to establish the SICA-IDB Joint Capacity Building Program on Central American Integration (2011-2014) to contribute to strengthening capacity on integration and trade, including trade facilitation.

The objective of SICA-IDB Joint Capacity Building Program on Central American Integration was to carry out training and technical assistance in regional integration and regional institutions –face-to-face courses, online courses and, the creation of communities of practice- for member countries of SICA that were linked to the projects that contribute to the integration process of both software (policy and regulatory framework) and the hardware (physical integration).

From 2011 to 2012, the SICA-IDB launched the first pilot edition of the online course on Single Window as a Tool to Facilitate Trade in Central America. The SICA-IDB has trained 214 participants –average age 38, and 46 percent female– from 17 Latin American countries have been trained in six online tutored courses on single windows, customs management and leadership, strategic planning in customs, e-commerce, and the International Transit of Good (TIM). Eighty-three percent of participants have received certification. Additionally, 25 tutors were trained in online methodology, which resulted in the design and development of 28 modules with more than one hundred exercises.

The SICA-IDB effort was the foundation of the IDB’s the Capacity Building Program on Integration & Trade. This Program has imparted over 165 courses for Latin America and the Caribbean, with a certification rate of 84%, 50% of which are women. Satisfaction surveys show 93% of participants were highly satisfied with course contents and with tutor instruction. Overall, more than 6,300 participants were trained through the Program since its inception.

To ensure success and ownership, IDB closely works with LAC institutions to identify and propose potential candidates, while building strategic partnerships with other institutions such as the WTO and the World Customs Organization and with sub-regional entities like SICA and the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC).

The Foreign Trade Single Window in LAC. How to Reduce Trade Costs with Limited Investments

One tool that the AfT and RIIF funds deployed to eliminate some of the inefficiencies in international trade procedures and that is core under the new fund RIF is the establishment of Foreign Trade Single Windows (Ventanillas Únicas de Comercio Exterior, VUCEs) throughout the LAC region. To date, 14[1] LAC countries have engaged in designing, implementing or upgrading their VUCEs with tangible outcomes. The IDB, in collaboration with its donor-partners, multilateral organizations and borrowing member countries, has carried out research, policy dialogues, capacity-building, and technical assistance, creating a virtuous circle for VUCEs in LAC, and in some cases their interoperability as is the case for the VUCEs of Pacific Alliance member countries (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru).

Institutional Strengthening of International Trade

The programs financed by the IDB to support institutional strengthening of international trade (including support for the negotiation and implementation of trade agreements) under the modalities of “sectoral facility” and investments loans have shown significant results in improving beneficiary countries’ capacity to design and conduct their own trade policy.


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[1] Argentina, Barbados, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and

With these instruments, the IDB has financed numerous operations in the region. Many of these operations were also identified as best practices during the last exercise done by the WTO and the Organization for Economic and Cooperation Development (OECD) under the frame of the Aid for Trade Initiative, in particular, because of their contribution to the improvement of countries’ capacity to design and conduct trade policy

Trade promotion

Bank programs financing trade promotion have demonstrated that investment in trade promotion results in high returns. For IDB programs, results have been very positive: projects that have supported and financed export promotion agencies have resulted in a return of 40 to 50 dollars of exports per dollar invested.


[1] Argentina, Barbados, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.


The IDB has engaged in partnerships throughout the region and with global institutions, such as the WTO, the WCO, ACWL, ICTSD, ITC/ CCLEC, APC, CC, SIECA and the OECD, to foster the design and implementation of knowledge products, implementing concrete projects and building capacity. This is the case of the Aid for Trade Initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean, where the Bank has developed a partnership with the WTO, the OECD and other regional development banks. The Bank has also worked closely with other international educational partners, such as The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), the Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL) and the International Trade Center (ITC).

The IDB also collaborates with other international organizations, such as the WCO, the World Bank, the United Nations, the European Commission and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in a number of trade-related initiatives. The strong trade and economic ties between Asia and LAC have led to enhanced cooperation on capacity building and knowledge and best practices exchange between the ADB and the IDB and their respective clients.

The IDB is also developing strategic partnerships with regional institutions such as SICA and SIECA in Central America and REDIBERO in Latin America that gather export promotion agencies.

The IDB has also partnered with Canada, Chile, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom to establish the AfT Fund, thereby contributing to the WTO's 2005 Aid for Trade Initiative. In partnership with Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Spain and the United States the establishment of the RIIF complemented the AfT Fund. The European Union (EU), Japan and the Republic of Korea have also provided support to integration projects in LAC.