Rich in land, fresh water and natural habitat, Latin America and the Caribbean is already the largest net food exporting region in the world, with enormous potential for additional growth and development. We provide financing and technical assistance to companies across the agribusiness value chain. Our efforts focus on three main areas: promoting inclusiveness by developing financing structures that will benefit smallholder farmers; enabling industrial companies and cooperatives to increase capacity, productivity and scale; and promoting sustainable practices to address the challenges of climate change.
Worldwide, manufacturing accounts for about 16 percent of GDP and 14 percent of employment, but its importance to the economy varies widely from country to country. In the Latin America and Caribbean region, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico produce nearly 80 percent of total manufacturing output. After two years of weak regional performance, the manufacturing sector began showing signs of recovery in early 2017, according to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. At IDB Invest, our focus is on providing manufacturers with long-term financing so they can increase innovation and boost productivity. In Ecuador, for example, the steel company Adelca more than doubled its installed production capacity thanks to a 10-year loan from the IDB Group.
Telecommunications, Media and Technology
Latin America and the Caribbean has seen explosive growth in this sector that is now so critical to every aspect of life, including health, education and finance. By mid-2017, there were some 459 million unique mobile subscribers in Latin America—a subscriber penetration rate of just over 70 percent, according to GMSA Intelligence. At IDB Invest, we want to invest strategically to address market gaps. In 2017, for example, we signed a six-year, $100 million financing package with Telecom Personal in Argentina, to expand its 4G mobile broadband network. We are also supporting broadband expansion in Paraguay by providing the equivalent of $70 million in financing in the local currency, guaraníes, to local mobile service provider Tigo Paraguay.
One of the highest-performing sectors globally, tourism is showing robust growth in Latin America and the Caribbean too, with international arrivals estimated to grow from nearly 69 million in 2016 to over 110 million by 2030. Tourism not only generates attractive investment opportunities; it is also one of the largest employers of women and youth, and has a significant impact on economic growth in the smallest and poorest nations in the region. In recent years, the industry has become more aware of the importance of mitigating the impact of climate change, building structures that are more resilient and developing projects that minimize the use of water and energy. IDB Invest supports this industry with financial solutions and advisory services tailored to clients’ needs.