By Nibal Zgheib
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is strengthening the agribusiness value chain and trade in five economies across the eastern Mediterranean, eastern Europe and the Black Sea region, with a US$200 million loan to Olam International Limited, a leading global trader in agricultural commodities.
The EBRD loan will finance purchases of agricultural commodities such as hazelnuts, dry dairy products, grain and onions in selected countries of operation. Local subsidiaries of the company will take on the processing, storage and distribution of these goods.
The European Union and the TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund will provide donor support for the development of new methodologies and processes for climate-related risk management and stress testing in Egypt and Turkey.
Olam International is a leading food and agribusiness company supplying food, ingredients, feed and fibre to over 25,000 customers in more than 60 countries worldwide. Headquartered in Singapore, Olam is listed on the Singapore stock exchange. The company is 53.4 per cent owned by Temasek Holdings and 17.4 per cent by Mitsubishi Corporation.
To date, the EBRD has invested close to €13 billion(US$15.32billion) in more than 740 agribusiness projects, of which 99 per cent are in the private sector. By fostering strong links with the private sector, governments and other development partners, the EBRD aims to enhance agribusiness value chains and promote economic transition across the regions where it invests.