IIC Approves US$2 Million Loan To Ecofair, S.A. Under Cofinancing Agreement With Latin American Agribusiness Development Corporation (Laad)


Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) approved a US$2 million medium-term loan to Ecofair S.A., a Colombian banana exporter.

The proceeds will enable this new company to invest in organic banana plantations for the export market. The operation falls under the IIC’s cofinancing agreement with Latin American Agribusiness Development Corporation (LAAD). LAAD is a private investment and development company that promotes socioeconomic development in Latin America by financing small and medium-size agribusinesses.

Ecofair, S.A. is a Colombian start-up company whose shareholders have the requisite experience in the sector, specifically in banana growing both in Colombia and elsewhere, and in marketing bananas. The demand for organic products is growing worldwide, especially in the European markets and the U.S., where they command a premium.

According to Gustavo Romero, IIC Senior Investment Officer in charge of the project, "With this operation the IIC reaffirms its commitment to support organic agriculture, with all its environmental benefits. The project is also expected to have a demonstration effect and attract other investors to the organic agriculture export market." A second phase of the operation should be carried out in 2008.

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: John Beckham/Gustavo Romero

Telephone: (202) 623-3984

Email: johnbec@iadb.org/gustavorc@iadb.org