Washington D.C., May 23, 2002—The International
Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector development arm of the World
Bank Group, approved a loan of up to US$35 million to support the expansion
and modernization plans of Conaprole, Uruguay’s second largest private
company and one of the largest exporter. With this investment, IFC
is showing a vote of confidence in Uruguay’s private sector.
Conaprole (Cooperativa Nacional de Productores de Leche -National Cooperative
of Milk Producers) is Uruguay’s leading dairy processor, employing more
than 1,700 workers and processing about 70 percent of the country’s raw
milk production. More than a third of the cooperative’s revenues are derived
from exports, mainly to Latin America.
IFC’s long-term financing will help Conaprole modernize and rationalize
its industrial, logistic and distribution operations. It will also
help strengthen the competitiveness, financial viability, corporate governance
and environmental standards of the Cooperative.
Bernard Pasquier, IFC’s director of the Latin America and Caribbean Department,
said: “The investment in Conaprole is consistent with IFC’s strategy
to support export-oriented projects in Uruguay. IFC remains committed
to providing much-needed long-term finance to companies that have a clear
contribution to the economy of Uruguay. IFC’s financing to Conaprole
is another vote of confidence in the development of Uruguay’s private
sector, especially in these difficult times.”
Jean Paul Pinard, IFC’s director of the Agribusiness department added:
“IFC’s investment will help strengthen the competitiveness of Conaprole
in a sector where Uruguay has a strong comparative advantage. A stronger
financial and operational position will help Conaprole meet the challenges
of an increasingly competitive market and will bring clear benefits to
the 2,650 local farmers that supply milk to the Cooperative.”
Agribusiness represents 10 percent of Uruguay’s GDP. IFC’s support
of agribusiness and the rural sector in Latin America responds to a recognition
of its critical contribution to employment, the economy and its impact
on the environment.
IFC’s current portfolio in Uruguay accounts for up to $64 million in sectors
such financial services, education, trade finance and agribusiness.
Companies that recently received financing from IFC include Banco Montevideo
and Universidad de Montevideo.
IFC’s mission (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances
private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in
the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance
and advice to governments and businesses. Since its founding in 1956,
IFC has committed more than $31 billion of its own funds and arranged $20
billion in syndications for 2,636 companies in 140 developing countries.
IFC’s committed portfolio at the end of FY01 was $14.3 billion.