Last Updated on Thursday, 4 February 2021, 19:41 by Denis Chabrol
The Inter-American Development Bank’s private sector arm, IDB Invest, will be kneading US$4 million into Fernandes Guyana Enterprise (FGE), a subsidiary of the Suriname-headquartered Fernandes Group as the company eyes increased spending and more customers with different tastes.
“This will lead to higher and more efficient local production of bread products, which are an essential part of the Guyanese diet, and the introduction of new healthier products, while taking advantage of the projected higher spending, additional customer base and new consumption trends in the local market,” IDB Invest said.
The bank said the loan, which is for an 8-year tenor, would see FGE will almost double the number of local suppliers and distributors reached.
Fernandes Group, a family business with more than 1,200 employees, is one of Suriname’s largest economic groups operating in the following sectors: Bakery, Bottling Automotive, Ice Cream and Distribution.
There is a growing expatriate community, mainly from North America, as a result of the oil and gas sector. With more oil fields set to be developed in the coming years, officials say there will be increased demand for fruits, vegetables and processed foods.
The hemispheric financing facility said the Fernandes Group is one of the main economic groups in Suriname and the market leader in most of the industries in which it operates, including the food sector.
“The transaction supports Fernandes Group’s growth strategy outside of Suriname, by financing an increase in FGE’s current bakery production and distribution capacity in Guyana,” IDB Invest said.
The bank said the financing also contributes to mitigate the economic and social effects of the Covid-19 crisis, by protecting food security, promoting new and more specialized employment, and strengthening market linkages in Guyana. IDB Invest says it will play an important role by providing the Company the long-term financing required, currently scarce in the local market.
IDB Invest says the transaction potentially contributes to four of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): No poverty (SDG 1), Decent work and economic work (SDG 8), Industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9), and Reduced inequalities (SDG 10). Moreover, through this transaction, IDB Invest will support Fernandes Guyana to implement environmental and social best practices, aligned with international standards.
IDB Invest, a member of the IDB Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to promoting the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. IDB Invest finances sustainable companies and projects to achieve financial results and maximize economic, social and environmental development in the region. With a portfolio of $13.1 billion in asset management and 385 clients in 25 countries, IDB Invest provides innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the needs of its clients in a variety of industries.