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IDB to coordinate financing and technical cooperation for Puebla-Panama Plan

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — The presidents of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama and the prime minister of Belize today appointed the Inter-American Development Bank as the coordinator of the financing and technical cooperation arrangements for the Puebla-Panama Plan.

At a summit meeting held in San Salvador, the regional leaders designated the IDB to head a high-level committee that will mobilize resources to carry out the plan, which will promote integration between Mexico and Central America.

IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias thanked the assembled leaders and reiterated that the Bank stands ready to support the projects in the Puebla-Panama Plan.

This initiative, he added, offers the region an opportunity to forge a framework for sustainable development shared by all its social sectors. All the governments in the region have enthusiastically endorsed the plan, which seeks to foster stronger ties through concrete projects. For this reason, Iglesias said, it is crucial to take advantage of this auspicious start.

Iglesias encouraged the leaders at the summit to build popular support for the Puebla-Panama Plan by expanding and deepening their rounds of talks with political, economic and social groups where the projects that will make up the plan are being discussed.

The plan is expected to include projects in eight main areas: sustainable development, human development, natural disaster prevention, trade facilitation, roadway integration, electrical interconnection, telecommunications integration and eco-tourism development.

The IDB, the U.N. Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean and the Central American Economic Integration Bank make up the Puebla-Panama Plan’s advisory group, which provides technical support to the plan’s Executive Committee of government delegates from the eight participating countries.

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