Ballroom dancing in Bolivia: IFC investments remain questionable

9 May 2014

We have previously explored the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International finance corporation’s (IFC) long list of investments that have had weak links to development outcomes, such as 5-star hotels, shopping malls and long-shelf-life croissants (see Bulletin Feb 2014, Dec 2013). The IFC continues to back projects with little pro-poor focus, calling into question it’s targeting of extreme poverty.


Overview Claimed development outcomes Status and Partner company
Five-star hotel in Bolivia $7.2 million investment in the construction of a 173 room full-service, five-star Marriott hotel in Santa Cruz, eastern Bolivia. The hotel will include a ballroom, swimming pool and a fitness centre. 1)    Development of business infrastructure of international standards in Santa Cruz

2)    Creation of jobs during construction and operational phase

3)    Generation of downstream and upstream local supply linkages with the rest of the economy

4)    Increased direct tax revenues by the government

5)    Improved environmental and social performance, including green building/energy efficient standards

Board approved on 30 April 2014.Empresa Hotelera Icon S.A, an entity incorporated in Bolivia, and Marriott Hotels International Ltd which have 3,900 hotels worldwide