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MIF approves $1,050,000 to support transfer of government-owned assets to private investors in Panama’s interoceanic region

The Multilateral Investment Fund today announced the approval of a $1,050,000 grant to Panama to provide continuing support to the Interoceanic Regional Authority to transfer government-owned assets to private investors. The expected investments will diversify the Panamanian economy and generate new jobs by converting the former military facilities surrounding the Panama Canal to commercial uses.

The resources will provide technical support for the concession, sale, or leasing of a list of assets and finance the hiring of expert consultants for that purpose.

The operation is timed with the transfer of 14 U.S. military bases and approximately 149,000 hectares of land with 7,200 buildings of differing sizes under the terms of the Carter-Torrijos treaties, which provides for the full transfer of the Interoceanic Region to Panamanian sovereignty.

The Inter-American Development Bank and the Multilateral Investment Fund, an autonomous fund administered by the IDB, have been providing financial support for plans and projects since 1993, when the IDB approved an $7.6 million technical assistance loan to finance development, environmental, and urban studies.

A MIF grant of $600,000, approved in 1997, financed legal and other specialized services to advise the Interoceanic Regional Authority on state-of-the art techniques for the privatization process. The current MIF financing deepens and widens the previous operation.

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