Costa Rica won the ITC award after outperforming the other finalist countries: Austria, Lithuania, Saint Lucia and Spain.
The Green Growth Program works hand in hand with strategic partners such as the CRUSA Foundation and the IDB. San José, October 14th, 2020. This morning the International Trade Centre (ITC) – a joint agency of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations (UN) – announced that the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promotion Agency (PROCOMER) was the winner in the category “Best Initiative for Inclusive and Sustainable Trade” for the Green Growth program, an initiative that promotes the development of projects such as environmental certifications and innovations that seek energy efficiency, promotion of renewable energy, reduction of emissions, water use and integrated waste management. The World Trade Promotion Organization (WTPO) Awards recognize excellence in export development initiatives worldwide in three categories: “Best Use of Partnerships”, “Best Use of Information Technology” and “Best Initiative for Inclusive and Sustainable Trade”. In total, 60 initiatives were submitted and only 18 organizations were shortlisted for the WTPO Awards 2020, with Costa Rica competing in its category with Austria, Lithuania, Saint Lucia, and Spain. “We are very honored to have been selected by ITC as the organization with the best initiative for inclusive and sustainable trade. This is a small sample of all the efforts we make to promote business with purpose through programs like this, Green Growth, with which we seek to promote international trade with the vision of generating greater well-being for Costa Rica,” said Pedro Beirute Prada, General Manager of PROCOMER. The Green Growth Program aims to encourage the green productive transformation of SMEs through the provision of seed capital, and thus promote diversification and increase the added value of Costa Rica’s exportable supply. This initiative works hand in hand with strategic partners such as the Costa Rica United States Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). This program began in 2018 and, after five rounds, it has selected 188 companies that have been awarded nearly $2.4 million in non-reimbursable funds. Of the 188 companies chosen, 41% are in areas outside the Greater Metropolitan Area, 48% are exporters and 52% have export potential. In addition, 46% of the SMEs are led by women. Specifically from the first two calls 100% of the companies completed their projects, these 56 winning companies have had savings associated with their improved productivity of $147 thousand, an increase in exports of 31.5% on average and an environmental impact of 571.62 ton CO2 equivalent. “We are deeply grateful to our strategic allies, CRUSA Foundation and the IDB, for believing in our small and medium enterprises and in this process of productive transformation, from which the country will emerge strengthened and more competitive to enter international markets,” concluded Beirute. From 2014 to this 2020, PROCOMER ranks first among the world’s trade promoters, according to ITC. The areas that this international organization qualifies and in which the Costa Rican promoter obtained the best marks are leadership and direction, measurement and results, resources, and processes, as well as the quality of services and products it offers. Additionally, in the 2016 WTPO edition, PROCOMER obtained the award for the export consortia association model.