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MIF to release new data, studies on remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean

The Multilateral Investment Fund will hold a press conference at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 27 at Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC to release its latest estimates and studies on remittances sent by Latin American and Caribbean immigrants to their home countries.

Remittances have become a key source of capital for many Latin American and Caribbean countries, by far exceeding the overseas aid received by the region and roughly the same as foreign direct investment for the year 2002. In at least six nations, the money sent back by expatriate workers represents more than 10 percent of their gross domestic product.

At the press conference, which will be held at the IDB’s headquarters (1300 New York Ave, NW, 9th floor Breakout Room), MIF Manager Donald F. Terry will present a country-by-country breakdown of those flows.

Terry and remittances specialists will also discuss the findings of three recent MIF-sponsored studies, one comparing the costs of wiring money to Latin America and the Caribbean from the United States, Europe, Middle East and Asia; another study examines Spain’s experience with remittances, including cutting remittance costs, to three countries in Latin America; and the third study focuses on access to financial institutions by Latin American migrants.

The press conference will precede a Friday, February 28 seminar organized by the MIF, Transnational Communities: International Experiences in Remittances, which will be held at the IDB headquarters, 1300 New York Ave., NW.

The MIF, an autonomous fund managed by the IDB, promotes private sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean through grants and investments. Among other issues, it works to bring down the costs of remittances by encouraging competition among service providers and by brokering links between financial institutions in industrialized nations and developing countries, with a preference for credit unions and microfinance institutions.

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