The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $4 million to help The Willbes Haitian S.A., a subsidiary of South Korea-based The Willbes & Co., Ltd, expand its apparel manufacturing capacity and create 1,000 new jobs in Port au Prince by the end of 2016. In addition, IFC is mobilizing a $4 million parallel loan from the Inter-American Development Bank.
The financing will help The Willbes Haitian S.A. add new production lines and strengthen the company’s financial position. It also supports the development of Haiti’s apparel industry, a key component of the country’s economy and an important source of foreign investment and jobs. In recent years, garment exports have represented approximately 90 percent of Haiti’s total exports, according to IFC.
“We are pleased to partner with IFC today to create opportunities for Willbes’ expansion and for Haiti’s garment sector to prosper,” said Byung-Hyun Jun, President and CEO of The Willbes & Co., Ltd. “Haiti can become one of the more competitive producers of ready-made garments, and we stand ready to be part of that growth.”
“IFC is committed to supporting Haiti’s private sector through companies like Willbes that create jobs and opportunities for people to improve their lives,” said Luc Grillet, IFC Senior Manager for Central America and the Caribbean. “This investment is part of our strategy of enabling growth in a priority sector, in turn generating employment and export earnings for the Haitian economy.”
IFC’s portfolio in Haiti amounts to US$122 million, including US$24 million mobilized from other partners. We operate in sectors such as hospitality, energy, financial markets, and manufacturing. Through our advisory programs with the private sector and the government, we support access to finance, public-private partnerships, improvements to Haiti’s investment climate, and programs that make small and medium enterprises more productive.