Apr. 2 — The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) recently announced the approval of a loan of up to $4 million to help Willbes HA, a subsidiary of The Willbes & Co Ltd, headquartered in Cheonan, Republic of Korea, to expand its existing ready-made garment facility at the Parc Industriel Métropolitain in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
The operation is the latest in a series of private-sector initiatives by the Bank in Haiti, including support for the northern Caracol Industrial Park.
“The Bank´s loan will enable Willbes to pursue a longer-term expansion creating additional jobs and associated economic benefits for Haiti,” said Alexandre Fernandes de Oliveira, Chief of the Industries and Services Division in the Structured and Corporate Finance Department. ¨It is expected that the company will hire significantly more women than men, contributing to greater gender equality in the workplace—the project will also help ensure compliance with international environmental and labor standards.”
The loan for the first phase of the expansion of the facility will result in employment and training for an estimated 918 new Haitian workers. Overall, the company´s planned multi-year expansion would add up to 4,500 new jobs to the Haitian economy, with direct and indirect benefits that would affect as many as 38,700 people.
Willbes is the oldest and largest private investor in the garment sector in Haiti — the project’s support for an estimated 37 percent expansion of sewing capacity will help ensure the continuation of the company’s operations in the country.
The Structured and Corporate Finance Department (SCF) leads all IDB’s non-sovereign guaranteed operations for large-scale projects, as well as those linked to companies and financial institutions.
Through its Loan Syndication Program, SCF acts as a catalyst, helping to engage third-party resources by partnering with commercial banks, institutional investors, co-guarantors and other co-lenders for projects with high development impact.