BIO wishes to rectify certain erroneous information published in the press on its subject. BIO supports SMEs in developing countries, in numerous sectors which create jobs and value added locally. Since it was set up, BIO has supported, directly and via intermediary structures, hundreds of thousands of end beneficiaries in developing countries. The projects supported by BIO have considerable positive effects on the development of the local economic fabric in poor countries and contribute to improving the living conditions of the local population.
BIO’s first investment in Mozambique
BIO has granted a USD 15m senior loan to Banco Comercial e de Investimentos (BCI), a commercial bank in Mozambique. The loan has been extended in local currency through a swap with TCX , and will be used by BCI for on-lending to SMEs. This is the first sizeable local currency transaction by a foreign lender, and also BIO’s first investment in Mozambique (a partner country of the Belgian Development Cooperation).
Reduction of gas emissions and improvement of the population’s living standards
BIO signed a credit facility agreement worth EUR 1,37 million with Thai Biogas Energy Co Ltd (TBEC), to finance the first ever biogas installation in Lao. Wastewater from Lao Indochina Group Co Ltd (LIG), a starch manufacturer processing cassava roots bought mainly from smallholders, will be transformed into gas and replace the coal used so far by clean and cheap energy. As a result, LIG will continue to play its critical role as processor for the country’s smallholder community while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The project will also contribute to the elimination of bad smell by expanding the wastewater treatment tanks, and enable the production of natural fertilizer from the remaining sludge. This innovative project will improve the living conditions of the population and increase the income of the smallholders and the factory staff.
BIO and CIDRE have agreed upon a Credit Facility Agreement amounting to USD 1.5 million. With the provision of this loan, BIO will enable a rural microfinance institution in Bolivia to expand its operations and reinforce its support to micro- and small enterprises. It will improve access to finance for unbanked rural entrepreneurs, while stimulating economic growth and generating jobs.
Improving education and literacy of young students
In order to achieve the Cambodia Millennium Development Goals (CMDG) by 2015, the Cambodian Government has put Education Development high on its agenda. That is why the “Education For All” program has been initiated to ensure that all Cambodian students complete Primary School at the least and further enroll in the 9 years program.
‘Cuida Tu Futuro, Usa Bien Tu Dinero’
Mid-2012, BIO extended a second loan amounting to USD 8 million to Banco Solidario (Ecuador) in order to finance the growth of its loan portfolio, and increase the institution’s capacity to provide financing to micro-enterprises. This financial backing is now complemented by a technical assistance grant in support of ‘Cuida Tu Futuro, Usa Bien Tu Dinero’, a financial education program initiated by Banco Solidario.