Icc Approves A US$400,000 Loan For Small Bolivian Textile Company


Washington, D.C.- On November 29, 2005, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) approved a US$400,000 loan to Altifibers S.A., a Bolivian textile company. The proceeds will be used to finance an expansion and vertical integration project that taps into Altifibers' comparative and competitive advantages in producing textiles from natural llama, alpaca, and sheep fibers, and enhances the company’s competitiveness on the international market.

Altifibers S.A. is a small company located in the city of El Alto that has purchased, processed, and exported natural fiber textile products for fourteen years. The operation consists of the building of a spinning and dyeing plant for sheep, alpaca, and llama yarns. Spinning and dying are currently done abroad because Bolivia lacks the infrastructure to ensure product quality at the volumes required by the export market. The operation includes investment in machinery, equipment, and buildings to vertically integrate the company and enable it to install a complete natural fiber spinning and dyeing line using domestic raw material. The IIC loan will also help Altifibers meet its working capital needs and reduce its short-term liability burden.

The operation was structured with the support of Fundación Bolivia Exporta, with which the IIC is working on a program to support small and medium-size companies in Bolivia. Altifibers exports all of its production. The project is expected to double Altifibers' foreign exchange generation capacity. Through this operation, the IIC will be supporting a company that seeks to increase the value of its exports and enhance the quality of its products in order to consolidate its market niche. Altifibers currently employs 125 people, but it has a significant impact on more than 2,300 camelid-farming families in the depressed regions of Bolivia This operation is expected to provide direct employment for eighteen additional workers and strengthen ties with producers through educational programs, improvements in the shearing process, and maintenance of an inventory that will enable them to deliver higher quality and receive higher prices.

The Inter-American Investment Corporation is a multilateral financial institution that is part of the Inter-American Development Bank 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. The IIC's mission is to promote the economic development of its regional borrowing member countries by stimulating 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, visit its Web site at www.iic.int.

Contact: Steven Reed/Jorge Ciurlizza

Telephone: (202) 623-3981

Email: stevenr@iadb.org