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IDB's Multilateral Investment Fund to hold roundtables on remittances in El Salvador and Dominican Republic

The Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) will hold two roundtable conferences in El Salvador and the Dominican Republic this month on the economic impact of remittances in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The meetings, which will bring together leaders of the public and private sectors, the financial services industry and civil society groups in each country as well as experts on remittances and development, will take place on Friday, Feb. 8 in San Salvador’s Marriott Hotel and on Wednesday, Feb. 13 in Santo Domingo’s Hotel Embajador.

The roundtables will pave the way for a regional conference scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at the IDB’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., where the MIF will release the results the first survey on remittances carried out among Latin American-born U.S. residents and a comparative analysis of regulations on remittances and costs of wiring money to the Latin American and Caribbean countries that receive most of these capital flows.

Over the past decade remittances have become a crucial source of hard currency for several countries in the region. The MIF, an autonomous fund managed by the IDB, estimates that these capital flows have risen to $20 billion a year, originated mostly by Latin American and Caribbean people working in the United States, Western Europe and Japan.

In volume, remittances already exceed foreign aid to Latin America and the Caribbean. Their economic impact is especially important because the money is usually received by people in low-income communities. Given current demographic and migration trends, many experts believe that the flow of remittances to will continue to grow during this decade.

The MIF, which advocates private sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean, supports programs to reduce the cost of remittances by stimulating competition and to enable their transmission through financial institutions that work with low-income clients, such as credit unions and microfinance institutions.

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