With a 2015 GDP of $100.2 billion and population of 16.14 million, Ecuador is the eighth largest economy in Latin America5 and one of only three countries on the continent that has fully dollarized their economy.6 Ecuador’s dollarization has decreased transaction costs with its U.S. trading partners and promoted long-term investment by stabilizing exchange rate risk.7 Between 2011 and 2015, annual GDP growth rates averaged approximately 4.49%5, mainly driven by petroleum, fishing, and select crop and processed food exports.8
Recognizing the aquaculture industry’s importance to Ecuador’s global competitiveness, in June 2016 TriLinc extended up to a $5,500,000 senior secured revolving trade finance facility to the seventh largest shrimp exporter, located in Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador. Established in 2009, the company is engaged in the purchasing, processing, freezing, and packaging of shrimp sourced from local suppliers that are licensed by Ecuador’s National Fisheries Institute, ensuring compliance with national conservation standards and practices. The company’s processing facility holds an Environmental License from Guayaquil Municipality that affirms their commitment to sustainable operations through the completion of an environmental impact study and the establishment of an Environmental Management Plan.
The company receives a daily average volume of 240,000 pounds of farm-raised white shrimp during high tide seasons, which it processes and sells in various size and packaging options tailored to over 100 customers throughout Europe, China, and the United States. The company anticipates that TriLinc’s financing will improve its competitiveness in the global marketplace while growing its employee base, which is composed of 50% women, in a city with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. The company offers its employees competitive wages, including an annual bonus and child support stipend, in addition to onsite health services, meal provisions, and daily transportation.
The borrower has promoted many energy saving initiatives throughout their production facilities, including using state-of-the-art, cost-efficient cooling and freezing equipment to preserve the quality of their product and reduce their environmental footprint. With an extensive quality control system in place at both the local supplier and production levels, the company continues to supply high-quality shrimp products into the international marketplace.