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IDB supports investments and competitiveness for Uruguay’s private sector

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay  Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President Luis Alberto Moreno today signed agreements that will allow Uruguay’s private sector to increase investments and improve its competitiveness.

Moreno and Uruguayan Finance Minister Fernando Lorenzo signed a technical cooperation grant for $1.2 million to foster the development of public-private alliances. The project, financed by the IDB Group’s Multilateral Investment Fund MIF), will create incentives to increase private investment in public infrastructure to improve competitiveness of the country’s economy.

The project will support the creation of a local regulatory framework, strengthening the capacity of public and private organizations involved in the design, financing, and management of public-private alliances, and the development of new financial instruments.

Moreno, who will participate today in the opening ceremony of the XIII Inter-American Microenterprise Forum (Foromic 2010), also signed an agreement for a technical cooperation grant between MIF and the Tourism Corporation of Rocha (CRT, after its initials in Spanish) to promote planned growth and sustainable development in the country’s Rocha region.

The project will strengthen management of tourism services to promote their quality and increase social, economic, and environmental benefits for micro, small-scale and medium-size tourism-related businesses in Rocha. MIF and CRT will invest almost $740,000 in the creation of a destination management model for public and private operations, development of tourism products, implementation of sustainable tourism best practices, and the positioning of Rocha and its products as a national, regional, and international destination.

Moreno also signed a technical cooperation agreement with the Uruguayan Union of Exporters to foster change within firms and carry out new undertakings in their specialized areas. The project will develop and implement instruments that pave the way for the creation of new firms that draw on their knowledge of their markets, clients, and business conditions.

As a regional project, it is expected that there will be close collaboration among participating countries—Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay—in sharing lessons learned and best practices, which will lead to the replication of corporate business models in other countries.

Projects in Bolivia

Also at the Foromic event, MIF General Manager Julie T. Katzman today signed loan and technical cooperation agreements for Bolivia. One project seeks to increase access to financial and non-financial services for small-scale farmers through deepening and expanding services provided by the Sartawi Foundation. The project, which will benefit 20,000 micro and small-scale entrepreneurs and low-income producers, will be financed by a $2 million loan to the foundation and a technical cooperation for $350,000.

MIF will also invest $760,000 in a project to increase competitiveness in neighborhood retail stores in the city of La Paz, and nearly $500,000 to improve working conditions and productivity of microenterprises engaged in the collection of solid waste in the cities of Santa Cruz, Montero, and Sucre.