By The Project Formulation Department
CABEI's Mission, as expressed in its Constitutive Agreement, establishes that the Bank will have for an objective "to promote the economic integration and the balanced economic and social development of the founding countries." Additionally, the vision of CABEI is: "To be a strategic partner for improving the quality of life of Central Americans through the sustainable development of the land and its resources."
The Institutional Strategy 2010-2014 establishes six focus areas so that CABEI resources granted through credit approvals, programs, and technical cooperation will have a direct impact on the objectives embodied in the strategic axes. The of Energy Infrastructure, Productive Infrastructure, and Social Infrastructure sectors correspond to three of the principal focus areas found within the strategy, which represent jointly 87% of total approvals by CABEI in 2012, which grew to USD$1.5201 billion.
With the goal of continuing to drive investment to productive infrastructure, CABEI has a sector support strategy with two strategic guidelines: i) To design, develop, and implement financial solutions that incentivize the development of the Region's infrastructure; and ii) To incentivize, in coordination with other stakeholders, the development of a favorable investment climate to invest in the development of infrastructure in the Region. Every one of the guidelines has a group of programs that include financial solutions for the public sector as well as the private sector, promoting a favorable business climate to attract investment from both sectors. Regarding the energy sector, since its founding, CABEI has approved more than USD$3.560 billion in energy infrastructure investment projects, a figure that represents 20% of total approvals by the Bank. Of the total financial resources directed toward the focus area of energy, around 81% has been destined to electricity generation projects, and the remaining 19% of resources were oriented toward the financing of rural electrification projects, transmission lines, electrical substations and distribution networks that have contributed to the integration and sustainable development of Central American countries. It is important to highlight that of funds awarded for energy generation projects, 79% has been destined toward the development of generation projects with renewable resources, contributing to the creation of more than 8,000 jobs, generating savings in the importation of about 20 million oil barrels, and contributing to the reduction of more than 30 million tons of CO2 in the region.
On the other hand, as part of the infrastructure sector, the Bank's focus are in the human development and social infrastructure sector. In this sense, CABEI has continued to support this area through the implementation of projects in healthcare, education, public housing, water and sanitation, and citizen security. According to approvals projections for the year 2013, 34% - that is, more than USD$675 million - will be destined to these areas. Strong support is expected this year for the strengthening of the healthcare networks of Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama, approving about USD$470 million to improve, expand, and build hospitals and healthcare centers. In the education sector, the Government of Honduras will receive support with a school infrastructure improvement program, an investment of USD$30 million, to benefit more than 400 educational centers with preschool, elementary, and secondary education. In the water and sanitation sector, approvals of up to USD$168 million are intended in 2013 for projects seeking to improve water quality, increase coverage, and improve energy efficiency in countries like El Salvador and Costa Rica. Finally, CABEI has faced strong challenges in providing access to funding for public housing and urbanism; nevertheless, since the end of the previous decade until now more than USD$180 million has been geared towards the improvement, expansion, and construction of public housing, benefitting more than 21,300 families throughout the Central American region.
* This essay was published in the Second "Signs of Competitiveness in the Americas" Report - 2013. Click here to access the Report.