ICWI Group to work with the IIC in the English-Speaking Caribbean countries


IIC will provide up to US$3 million for the Program

Washington, D.C., USA - On November 20, 2007, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and the ICWI Investments Limited (ICWI), a Jamaican company, signed an agency agreement under which the ICWI will operate as the IIC´s agent in Jamaica, Bahamas, and Barbados to identify and evaluate potential companies for IIC financing under its Small Business Revolving Line (SBRL) program. ICWI will also work with the IIC to close and disburse each loan and, once disbursed, supervise each loan on behalf of the IIC.

This agency program is highly innovative given that to date the SBRL program has only generated projects in those countries where the IIC has established a local presence. Under this inititiative in the Caribbean, ICWI representatives will undergo IIC training in credit and non-credit (e.g., environmental, labor and developmental impact) issues prior to beginning their work. In order to provide needed resources to launch this innovative program, the Korea-IIC SME Development Trust Fund kindly agreed to fund the evaluation activities necessary to determine eligibility for IIC financing of the small companies which will benefit from IIC medium and long-term lending.

The agreement with ICWI stems from the desire of the IIC to increase its focus on generating projects in the English-speaking Caribbean. According to Mr. Steven Reed, IIC’s Deputy General Manager, "The English-speaking countries of the Caribbean are the most under-represented group in the IIC portfolio. In order to address this imbalance, the IIC is entering into strategic partnerships with regional firms to assist the IIC in the origination, analysis and monitoring of corporate loan transactions. In a ceremony held at the IIC in Washington, D.C., the Honorable Dennis Lalor, O.J., Chairman of the ICWI, and Mr. Jacques Rogozinski, General Manager of the IIC, signed the agency agreement.

The SBRL is a financial product with a streamlined approval process that enables the IIC to offer small, standardized loans to eligible small companies. The SBRL program is currently operating in Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Uruguay, and targets private companies operating in the agribusiness, manufacturing, wholesale, retail, service, and construction sectors, as well as other sectors that contribute to the local economy.

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. 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: Michael Apel

Telephone: (202) 623-2521

Email: michaela@iadb.org