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San José, Costa Rica – Radisson Hotel
Calle Central y Tercera Av. 15, San José
What is one of the single largest barriers to growth for SMEs in the developing world? The lack of access to finance at reasonable rates in the formal banking market. Access to credit promotes productive capacity, competitiveness, job creation and ultimately poverty alleviation.
World Bank research indicates that in developing countries over 70% of the assets held by small and medium-sized business (SMEs) are moveable assets. Additionally, over 70% of loan applications submitted by SMEs are rejected because they do not own real estate to use as collateral. Secured Transaction Reform (STR) facilitates the use of moveable assets like inventory, equipment and accounts receivable as collateral. After a country enacts STR, qualified SMEs are able to obtain larger loans, for larger amounts of money, with longer repayment periods, and markedly lower rated of interest.
The Institute of the Americas, in conjunction with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, is excited to host its second annual conference on Secured Transaction Reform in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Since the 2012 conference in Atlanta, both Costa Rica and Colombia have made impressive progress in adopting STR regimes and new laws should enter into force in the next few months. A bill is pending El Salvador’s National Assembly. Guyana is initiating a program, and Jamaica is making headway.
The Institute’s 2013 conference will bring together stakeholders including IFIs, lawmakers, bilateral aid agencies, NGOs, financial institutions and borrowers. STR 2013 will build on the past year’s momentum by introducing the concept of asset-based lending to countries participating for the first time and by establishing a peer-to-peer network of government officials working on the introduction of secured transaction regimes and managing them after legislation is passed.
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