Friday, April 6, 2007


Latin America Agribusiness Development Co.

LAAD’s mission is to promote the economic and social development of Latin America by financing small and medium-size companies and projects in countries which encourage trade, investment and economic growth.

On a broader scale, LAAD funds projects - but invests in the people who make those projects succeed.

Letter from LAAD's President

In 1970, twelve leading agribusiness and financial corporations founded LAAD as a private development institution dedicated to promoting the economic and social development of Latin America by financing private agribusiness projects. Thirty-five years later, LAAD’s mission remains the same.

LAAD started with a seed capital of $2.4 million, and from that modest beginning, has grown more than 25 times. More importantly, over the years, LAAD has invested more than half a billion dollars in more than 1,000 agribusiness projects in over 15 Latin American and Caribbean countries. We estimate that over these past thirty-five years, LAAD’s financial support to our clients has created more than 85,000 jobs and generated an increase in exports of over US$950 million. Fulfilling its developmental mission has not caused LAAD to lose track of its business bearings.

LAAD’s initial growth was financed using long-term funding from USAID. At the time, no private lender was willing to lend long-term funds to a starting development bank without a track record in lending and collecting loans. Add to this the fact that the Corporation’s untested corporate mission was to focus on granting agribusiness loans in a politically and socially convulsive region of the world, and their hesitancy was perhaps understandable.

Today however, after the hard and consistent work of its management and staff, and its supportive and participative Board of Directors, LAAD enjoys an excellent reputation and track record as a financial institution in Latin America . As a result, the Corporation no longer has to borrow from subsidized sources and all of its new funding comes from the open market, as well as its retained earnings. This is extremely important for our projected expansion in the coming years and to continue fulfilling LAAD’s mission.

By now we know well the tortuous roads as we have operated continuously in Latin America throughout these 36 years, even under the darkest days of the region’s various major crises. We look forward to the future ahead with anticipation. The challenge we undertook 36 years ago will continue through the decades ahead. As we look into the future, we foresee sustained growth, along with diversification into more countries, crops, technology and agribusiness innovations, driven by the increasing domestic and world demand for agricultural products and processed foods. Latin America has the natural resources and the business talent to move ahead and meet the demands of its people as population and income levels grow. LAAD will support this growth by committing more financial resources and its best assets: its dedicated and committed Board of Directors, its management team and staff, and most importantly, its hard working and risk-taking clients.

After more than 30 years, LAAD is a great example of what people with big dreams can acoomplish when they believe in them, and the pride of all Latin Americans.

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