IIC Signs Loan With Colombian Agribusiness Ecofair

06/16/2008

This loan is expected to attract more investors to the sector

Bogotá, Colombia - The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) signed a loan agreement of up to US$2 million with Ecofair, S.A., a Colombian company that exports organic bananas. Although Ecofair is a start-up company, its shareholders have extensive experience in growing and marketing bananas, both in Colombia and elsewhere, because they are also shareholders of Daabon Group and have worked in large banana companies, such as Dole.

The demand for organic products is growing worldwide, especially in the European markets and the United States. However, organic fruit production in Latin America is still limited in volume. Therefore, the IIC and the Latin American Agribusiness Development Corporation (LAAD) have combined their experience and expertise in a cofinancing agreement to provide financing alternatives to agribusinesses in the region. LAAD is a private investment and development company that promotes socioeconomic development in Latin America by financing small and medium-size agribusinesses.

According to Gustavo Romero, IIC Senior Investment Officer in charge of the project, "The LAAD/IIC cofinancing operation draws on the resources and experience of an organization specialized in agribusiness and an organization that provides the long-term financing that this sector needs. We want this operation to show that such projects can be successful and that financing in keeping with their needs is available. This should set an example and encourage other companies to take up organic farming, which holds significant potential for the region."

The operation also reaffirms the IIC’s commitment to support agriculture in Latin America and promote organic farming, with all its environmental benefits. It is also expected to have a demonstration effect and attract other investors and new sources of financing for the organic agriculture product export market.

The Inter-American Investment Corporation is a multilateral financial institution that is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. It provides financing (in the form of equity investments, loans, guarantees, and other instruments) and advisory services to private enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2007, the IIC reached US$1.2 billion in assets and approved 62 transactions channeling US$470 million to SMEs in the region. The IIC’s mission is to promote the economic development of its regional member countries by encouraging the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size. For more information on the IIC’s activities, please visit www.iic.int.



Contact: Gustavo Romero

Telephone: (202) 623-3855

Email: gustavorc@iadb.org