News Column

Costa Rica bankers offer $500 million trust to finance infrastructure projects

May 16, 2014

By L. Arias, The Tico Times, San Jose, Costa Rica



May 16--The board of directors of the Costa Rican Banking Association (ABC) on Thursday met with President Luis Guillermo Solis and members of his economic team to present a plan to boost the country's economic growth.

ABC's proposals include an offer for a $500 million trust fund to finance public infrastructure projects.

The plan is divided into three main areas related to productive reactivation, financial protection for citizens and financial stability for the country.

Other proposals by the group, which is composed of 15 public and private banks, include a pledge to support aid programs for small and medium businesses with technical support for studies to measure risk and opportunities.

Another section of the plan proposes the creation of a national program to facilitate loan access to low-income residents.

"The Costa Rican Banking Association is committed to supporting this new administration's aim of furthering development. Undoubtedly banks are called upon to channel their resources towards productive activities in order to promote economic growth with equity; our sector will actively support President Solis and his staff," ABC President Gilberto Serrano said.

Solis welcomed the plan and moved to form groups responsible for proposing projects to be implemented with the funds.

Vice President and Finance Minister Helio Fallas, Economy Minister Ramos Welmer and Central Bank President Olivier Castro will lead the working groups.

The president said he expects the first projects to begin in the next three months, and a first stage would prioritize building or improving public schools and health facilities.

A second stage will focus on developing more complex works such as roadway construction and a new electric train.

Officials will meet in coming days to set loan terms and to appoint fund administrators.

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(c)2014 The Tico Times (San JosÉ, CRI)

Visit The Tico Times (San JosÉ, CRI) at www.ticotimes.net

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Source: Tico Times, The (San Jose, Costa Rica)


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