IIC Signs First Loan In Bolivia Under Its Small Business Revolving Line, For US$428,000


A Bolivian food company will use the IIC loan for long-term working capital

La Paz, Bolivia - On May 26, 2008, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) signed a loan agreement—the first to be made in Bolivia under the Small Business Revolving Line—with Sociedad Industrial y Comercial La Francesa, S.A. La Francesa produces baked goods and milk beverages.

La Francesa has been operating for more than fifty years and is a leader in the local market. The company, whose products have won international awards for quality, has a range of more than 130 price- and quality-competitive products.

The SBRL is a financial product that enables the IIC to offer standardized small loans to eligible small enterprises under an expedited approval process. It is currently offered in Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. The SBRL targets private companies operating in the agribusiness, manufacturing, wholesale, retail, service, and construction sectors, as well as any other sector that contributes to the local economy.

The operation with La Francesa is a very special one for the IIC. In addition to being the first SBRL loan in Bolivia, it arose from an agreement between the IIC and Fundación Bolivia Exporta (FBE) for FBE to act as the IIC's agent to identify and evaluate small and medium-size enterprises that are eligible for direct financing under the SBRL.

Signing for La Francesa, S.A. was Mario Antonio Yaffar de la Barra, the company's general manager, who said, "The IIC loan will give us the opportunity we have been looking for to increase our production capacity. This will help us better prepare for competition. Thanks to the loan, we will finally be able to make solid progress towards our targets for growth." Jeannine Gisela Forgues, IIC local counsel, signed for the IIC.

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 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, please visit www.iic.int.

Contact: Hernando Lesme (in Paraguay)

Telephone: + (595 21) 616-2321

Email: hernandol@iadb.org