Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) develops new service, Finance Connect, with the help of Montréal International

Montreal, Canada. December 5, 2016 – Montréal International is supporting the expansion of FAST to build Finance Connect, a service that will serve enterprises, and whose membership will enable FAST to be more financially self-sustaining. This will also allow FAST to open access to smaller organizations to be able to afford FAST’s services.

FAST launched in 2008 with the initial support of key partners including Montréal International, USAID, Root Capital, IISD, Rabobank, Cordaid, and ForesTrade. It started as an idea and has evolved to become a leading service provider in 3 major areas – training, analytics, and matchmaking. FAST brings together on the one hand demand for finance in the form of small and medium enterprises (SME’s, including co-ops, producer associations and private companies) looking to increase their credit readiness, and to understand how to work with financial service providers. On the other hand, FAST works with Financial Service Providers (FSPs), including local, regional and international financial institutions, in order to ensure they understand the needs of SMEs and can tailor their services to meet these demands.

The expansion of FAST aligns with the COP22 vision to make sure finance contributes to a smarter agricultural system, and it will be led by Mauricio Rosemary, an experienced banker supporting the agricultural & agro forestry industries. He has a vast experience managing domestic and international financial institutions such as the National Bank of Chile and Rabobank. Additionally, he has worked as a Business Analyst and an Advisor for the development of international trade businesses.

FAST President and CEO, Noemi Perez, expressed that “the support of Montréal International has been fundamental to the establishment of FAST and now Montréal International is playing a key role in expanding FAST’s services to embolden its position as the leader in finance for agriculture and forestry in developing countries. FAST specializes in a new niche, enabling these SMEs to access to new markets and finance.”

“We are pleased to be a part of FAST’s growth and success. A leader in the global sustainable financial services industry, FAST will position Montréal as a pioneer of sustainable development,” said Hubert Bolduc, President and CEO of Montréal International. “We believe in supporting all 65 international organizations in the city, as they form a community that is unique in Canada and help make Montréal a future-oriented and globally minded city,” he added.

This expansion aligns with the COP22 proclamation to make sure finance contributes to smarter agriculture and to “signal a shift towards a new era of implementation and action on climate and sustainable development”[1].

ABOUT FAST (www.fastinternational.org)

FAST is an international non-profit, member-driven organization based in Montreal, Canada, which through its three main streams provides Training, Analytics and Matchmaking in order to close the access to finance gap for SMEs working in sustainable agriculture and forestry in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

About Montréal International (www.montrealinternational.com)

Established in 1996, Montréal International is a non-profit organization funded by the private sector, the governments of Canada and Québec, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal and the City of Montréal. Its mission is to attract foreign investment, international organizations and skilled talent to Greater Montréal.

[1] http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/marrakech_nov_2016/application/pdf/marrakech_action_proclamation.pdf

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