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IFC LAUNCHES CARIBBEAN LOAN FACILITY


Jannette Esguerra
Phone: (202) 458-5204
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: jesguerra@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., September 11, 2000 - Smaller businesses in the Caribbean region will have greater access to long-term financing with a new US$50 million loan facility by the International Finance Corporation and the Bank of Nova Scotia.
IFC and BNS will each contribute $25 million in loans to the facility, which will be managed by the Bank of Nova Scotia through its local branches, subsidiaries and affiliates.
Through the facility, small and medium-sized companies that are undertaking greenfield, expansion and restructuring investments, particularly for export-oriented projects, can receive loans ranging from $500,000 to $5 million. The facility will provide long-term financing to companies in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago. Other countries may be included later.
At a time when economic diversification and competitiveness remain critical to maintaining economic growth, the facility will bring tremendous benefits to the region by helping to expand competitive industries and services, increasing exports and generating foreign exchange and creating employment opportunities, said Karl Voltaire, IFC Director of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in emerging markets, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.