CEO Nathan visits diverse projects representing the breadth of DFC’s capabilities
QUITO – From July 31-August 2, 2023, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Scott Nathan traveled to Quito, Ecuador, the Corporation’s largest market in the Western Hemisphere and second largest globally for DFC, with $1.7 billion in exposure.
During his visit, CEO Nathan and DFC officials met with a broad range of current and potential private sector partners, as well as government officials, to discuss how DFC financing can help advance the development of Ecuador and prosperity of the Ecuadorian people. The South American country provides a representative lens of the Corporation’s tools at work, ranging from financing large infrastructure and renewable energy projects to supporting small business through on-lending, to pioneering conservation efforts, and bolstering health systems.
CEO Nathan’s engagements highlighted the importance of working with the private sector to help improve lives and the economy. In a meeting with DFC client Solarpack, CEO Nathan signed a commitment letter for a $144 million loan to support the development of Ecuador’s first private-sector-owned, utility-scale solar power plant. The investment in Ecuador’s El Aromo area of coastal Manabi province will finance the development of a 200-megawatt solar power plant helping to meet growing demand for electricity and expand Ecuador’s share of clean energy. The project was approved by DFC’s Board of Directors in June.
CEO Nathan also met with Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso and several cabinet ministers to celebrate DFC’s work in the country and explore new opportunities for private sector-led development that improves livelihoods and increases economic stability. Following their meeting, the Government of Ecuador bestowed presidential honors to CEO Nathan in recognition of DFC’s continued commitment to investing in the country and its people.
CEO Nathan traveled outside of the capital city to Latacunga. He met with representatives from Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito Fernando Daquilema (Daquilema), which through a $9 million DFC loan guaranty to World Business Capital, will help expand lending to indigenous-owned small businesses. He had the opportunity to meet several of these business owners to see their products and hear firsthand how the access to critical financing has supported their businesses and livelihoods. CEO Nathan also visited a local indigenous-owned pottery workshop to meet with the business's founder. They discussed how he was able to easily obtain credit from Daquilema and how DFC's loan guaranty can help him and other indigenous business owners in Ecuador.
Back in Quito, the DFC delegation toured Axxis Hospital, an 84-bed facility which was founded in 1996 and specializes in healthcare services for women and children, including maternal and neonatal care. The Corporation provided $18.45 million in financing to support Axxis’ expansion, which includes the addition of 68 hospital beds. DFC’s loan is supporting the hospital’s continued growth to serve more patients from underserved communities.
Announced earlier in Fiscal Year 2023, DFC invested in Yilport Terminal, an important port in the El Oro Province. DFC’s investment will help modernize operations, improve efficiency, and create local jobs, as well as expand opportunities for exporters, especially banana growers. During his visit, Mr. Nathan met with leaders from Yilport Terminal to discuss the port’s importance to the local markets.
CEO Nathan’s visit comes after DFC and its diverse partners announced the financial close of the Galápagos Marine Bond in May. DFC provided $656 million in political risk insurance to facilitate the project. The bond will result in more than $450 million in funding for conservation in the Galapagos overseen by a Board comprising diverse stakeholders whose majority is Ecuadorian and non-government representatives, ensuring that the conservation activities meet the needs specific to the fragile environment. The conservation funding is enabled through a debt conversion that exchanged $1.628 billion of Ecuador’s international bonds for a $656 million loan, resulting in significant debt service savings for Ecuador.
Mr. Nathan also met with two of the country’s leading banks, Produbanco and Banco Pichincha, who with DFC support are growing inclusive lending in Ecuador, particularly to small and medium businesses. During the discussion, the banks highlighted their efforts to make banking more accessible through online banking with DFC support.
CEO Nathan also met with leaders from the regional American Chambers of Commerce in Ecuador alongside U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador, Michael Fitzpatrick and visited leaders from the private sector to explore the possibility of future investments in energy, infrastructure, and small business finance.
The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.