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Experts to examine channeling billions of dolars in remittances for development of Latin America, Caribbean

Experts from the private and public sector, academia, and multilateral financial institutions will meet at a conference in Washington, D.C., on May 17-18 to examine ways to channel into productive investments part of hundreds of billions of dollars in remittances that are expected to be sent home from abroad by emigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean over the next 10 years.

The conference will take place in the Andrés Bello Auditorium of the Inter-American Development Bank, 1300 New York Ave. N.W. The Multilateral Investment Fund, a member of the IDB Group, is organizing the event in cooperation with the Inter-American Dialogue and the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Remittances are estimated to be greater than foreign aid and greater than interest paid on Latin America’s foreign debt. They are particularly heavy from Mexican and Central American communities living in the United States and from Brazilian communities in Japan.

Speakers and panelists at the conference will include banking and credit union managers, leaders of immigrant communities, researchers, and specialists in migrant issues.

In addition to exploring the productive use of the remittances, participants will also analyze statistical data on the magnitude of the remittance phenomenon and examine ways to help reduce the costs of remitting funds home.

IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias will inaugurate the conference at 9 a.m. on May 17, and that same day Mario Laborín, director general of Nacional Financiera, will deliver a luncheon keynote address. Makoto Utsumi, president of the Japan Center for International Finance, will be the opening speaker on the second day of the conference.

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