CABEI: 60 years as Central America´s Development and Integration Bank


CABEI has remained the strategic partner and main provider of resources in the region, with approvals totaling more than US$ 40 billion in projects that promote its people' social welfare.

Tegucigalpa, December 10th, 2020.- Six decades have passed since the Central American integration process began on December 13, 1960, a year that marked a milestone in the history of the region's countries when the General Treaty on Central American Economic Integration was signed, giving life to the Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration (SIECA) and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI).

Since then, CABEI has set itself the goal of accompanying the economic growth and social welfare of the region until it becomes its main resource provider, which has been achieved with historic approvals totaling more than US$ 40 billion in strategic projects in different focus areas such as Productive Infrastructure, Financial Intermediation and Finance for Development, Human Development and Social Infrastructure, Energy, among many others.

Today, 60 years after its foundation, CABEI is pleased to serve not only as the strategic partner of its partner countries, but also as the bridge to opportunities between the region and the world.

Five founding partners gave life to it: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica; but over the years it has become increasingly stronger with the inclusion of more members, reaching 15 partners by the end of 2020. Panama, Dominican Republic, and Belize as non-founding regionals; and Mexico, China-Taiwan, Argentina, Colombia, Spain, Cuba, and Korea as extra-regionals. 

"We are on the verge of a unique commemoration, which brings with its deep memories, and which marks a before and after in history, in which we will stand out as the Central American Bank that provides effective and timely solutions allowing them to improve their quality of life," said CABEI Executive President, Dr. Dante Mossi, during the 60th Anniversary celebration.

This December 13, 2020 marks six decades since CABEI' s foundation, a time when it has faced challenges that it has managed to turn into opportunities to continue mobilizing resources to the public and private sectors to support the growth of the region's economies.

This 60th anniversary is being celebrated in the midst of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the tragedy caused by tropical storms Eta and Iota, difficulties in which CABEI has been able to support its member countries thanks to its strength and effectiveness.

In both cases it structured two programs in record time. In the first, the "Emergency Support and Preparedness Program for COVID-19 and Economic Recovery", for an amount of more than US$2.6 billion to mitigate the negative economic and social effects caused by the pandemic and which included donations to its partner countries of both economic and medical supplies amounting to US$13 million; making available $600 million in concessional loans to finance public sector operations; and $350 million to finance Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MIPYME) through the Bank's financial partners.

While in the second, with the objective of helping countries to face the difficulties caused by natural emergencies, the Central American Program for Resilient Reconstruction for an available amount of US$2.5 billion at the request of countries, which is designed to finance projects that face and prevent disasters and calamities with the purpose of adapting to climate variability and change, in order to restore livelihoods and create socioeconomic opportunities in affected communities.

"It is an honor to lead this institution that is an anchor for our region. We are the reliable partner who, without much notice, started teleworking, and set to work for COVID 19's $2.6 billion emergency program and now for another $2.5 billion for rebuilding the damage caused by the hurricanes," said Dr Mossi.

In addition, in the midst of adversity, CABEI achieved its eighth capital increase this year, from $5 billion to $7 billion, a record in the history of capitalization among multilateral development agencies, as it occurs in the context of a pandemic and demonstrates the high level of commitment, confidence and support from CABEI' s partner countries.

Constant work with a new north

In May, during the 60th Board of Governors, CABEI unveiled its new Institutional Strategy 2020-2024, through which it intends to channel financial resources to partner countries for up to US$15.19 billion for development programs and projects in the region.

The Bank has identified a solid portfolio of 44 public and private programs and projects with a demand for financial resources exceeding US$12.8 billion, which constitute a great opportunity for national, regional, and international private investors that will come to strengthen economic development, employment generation and new opportunities to improve the well-being of Central Americans.

In 2019 CABEI issued its first global green bond for US$375 million listed on both the Luxembourg and Taipei stock exchanges. With these resources, to date it has channeled US$313.7 million to the region, financing 12 projects in the sustainable water management and renewable energy sectors.

This year also saw the official incorporation of Korea as an Extraregional partner, which with its capital contribution is making a significant contribution to the institution's financial strength, but it has also brought in a Support and Technical Assistance Fund for Pre-Investment Studies in the amount of US$50 million in the form of grants, which will contribute to the transfer of knowledge and technology from this important Asian country.

All of this, which we are working on and will work on, is with the firm conviction of reinforcing our financial strength for the well-being of the Central American region. Happy 60th Anniversary!