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IDB Fund supports efforts to promote municipal markets
New tendencies in consumer spending and ways of doing business in urban areas are affecting and risking the existence of small retail markets, also called central markets, which are facing the challenges of modernization.

In an effort to improve the socioeconomic environment of urban centers in Latin America and the Caribbean, the IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund commissioned a study on retail municipal markets in the context of attaining urban development objectives.

Experts who undertook the joint study by INYPSA and MERCASA consulting firms recently presented the results at IDB headquarters.

The study, which was provided with the financial support of the General Cooperation Fund of Spain (FGCE), showed that these retail markets in order to survive, prosper and fulfill their traditional and future role must undertake investment to improve physical infrastructure, organizational capacity and commercial success.

The survival of the municipal markets goes beyond their importance as a site for entrepreneurial activity and supply of food and nonfood products for daily consumption. They also are sites of cultural exchange and social cohesion, which make their survival, strengthening and modernization even more important.

The mentioned study will allow to MIF to promote supporting activities for these markets to contribute to the development of the private sector in the region.

Manuel Estrada-Nora, Fernando Bejerano and Antonio Sartorius—consultants of the study—presented the best international practices identified on restructuring retail municipal markets. Also, they advised on how the MIF might collaborate in the strengthening of the Agricultural Market of Goes (Uruguay) and of Alajuela (Costa Rica).