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IDB disbursements for Central America and Dominican Republic topped $2.5 billion

RIO HATO, Panama – Finance ministers from Central American countries and the Dominican Republic today took part in the 28th Regional Meeting of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Participants reviewed the Bank’s operational results and discussed the region’s economic outlook as well as their needs for technical and financial support in 2014.

During 2013 the IDB disbursed $2.524 billion for projects in Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, the highest level of the past five years. Of that total, $1.809 billion went to financing public sector projects aimed at economic and social development, while $715 million were disbursed for private sector projects.

Among other issues on the meeting’s agenda, governors analyzed options for boosting productivity and enabling the production of higher value-added goods and services in their countries.

Governors also reviewed the progress achieved in projects such as the Regional Electricity Market, which was born from the Central American Electrical Interconnection System (SIEPAC). Wholesale power transactions among Central American countries rose 124 percent last year, allowing them to weather local shortages.

Governors also noted that work on the Pacific Corridor, the shortest overland route between Puebla, Mexico and Panama, is advancing at a good pace. Construction also began on highway stretches in Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

“Central America needs to keep transforming its energy matrix and deepening its regional electricity market in order to boost its competitiveness. Another key element for the region’s development is logistics, for which the Pacific Corridor is the cornerstone,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno.

The IDB expects to approve more than $2 billion in additional financing for Central America and the Dominican Republic during 2014. Resources will go in large measure to projects in transportation, energy, health and education. The IDB will also help countries strengthen their fiscal and financial management. 

The regional governors’ gathering took place ahead of the annual meeting of the full Board of Governors, which will be held in March in Bahia, Brazil. Representatives from the IDB’s 48 member countries will attend that event.

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