Bolivian Cheese Manufacturers Improve Production with Italian Expertise


Experts from Umbria, Italy collaborate with Bolivian university for three-day lab sessions

Tarija, Bolivia, April 15, 2014 — The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) has given 20 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the Bolivian dairy industry hands-on lab training to improve their milk and cheese production processes and raise product quality.

The training sessions were led by Italian experts from the University of Perugia and the Umbria Trade Agency, in collaboration with the Biotechnology Department of the Universidad Autónoma de Tarija and the Tarija Federation of Private Entrepreneurs.

The three-day lab session brought together experts from the Italian region of Umbria, one of Europe’s major cheese producers, and local Bolivian cheese manufacturers for a series of workshops and joint activities geared to sharing Italian expertise and best practices. The lab sessions focused on production stages in the manufacture of cheese and included both theory and practice.

Collaborating with the University of Perugia through the FINPYME ExportPlus program will be a great experience for us—an opportunity to acquire the knowledge of Italy, one of the world’s leading cheese producers, about cheese manufacturing. Our university and the small cheese producers of Tarija will benefit tremendously from their participation in this program,” declared Juan Misael Saracho, director and senior professor of the biotechnology department at the Universidad Autónoma de Tarija.

The workshop is part of the IIC’s FINPYME ExportPlus program. FINPYME ExportPlus provides training and technical support to SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean, improving their export profile and increasing their competitiveness. FINPYME ExportPlus complements Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) activities in support of the Aid for Trade initiative of the World Trade Organization. The program is supported by a trust fund established by the Italian Government through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

About the IIC

The IIC, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, promotes private-sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises. We help companies streamline management processes and provide them with financing in the form of equity investments, loans, and guarantees, as well as innovative technical assistance, advisory services, and knowledge products. In 2013, the IIC approved 71 operations totaling US$415.4 million. Since its inception in 1989, the IIC has approved more than 800 direct loans to SMEs and financial intermediaries, for a total of US$5.21 billion. An additional US$3.01 billion has been mobilized through cofinancing and syndication agreements. For more information on IIC activities, visit

Contact: Jorge Roldán

Telephone: +1 (202) 623-3948