News - Real Estate - Finance (March
Spice maker first to tap
expansion loan scheme
WALKERSWOOD Caribbean Foods has become the first company to access the joint
Ex-Im Bank/Jamaica Exporters Association loan scheme, the bank has announced.
The Ex-Im bank has a US$2 million loan window
for exporters, who can access maximum loans of US$300,000 at seven per cent
Companies have four years to repay.
The funds are to be used for retooling and
plant upgrading, as well as market research. Both direct exporters and companies
engaged in import substitution are eligible.
The loans are disbursed in US dollars, but the
bank did not say whether repayment was similarly to be made in hard currency.
The loan scheme was agreed and signed off on
by finance minister Dr Omar Davies and JEA president Dr Andre Gordon last
Walkerswood, a producer of spices, sauces and
seasonings, is currently expanding and upgrading its St Ann factory, to keep up
with market demand overseas.
"They are one of Ex-Im's longstanding and
valuable clients," Ex-Im bank managing director Pamella McLean indicated.
"We are confident that Walkerswood will
continue to succeed and will greatly assist in building the 'Brand Jamaica' name
in the overseas markets."
Talks are underway with other interested
exporters who need capital, said McLean.