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El Salvador : Coastal areas of El Salvador will increase competitiveness with support from IDB

June 2, 2014

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $40 million loan aimed at improving the competitiveness of 30 towns along the coast of El Salvador. The money will go toward developing productive infrastructure, support micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses and enhance environmental management of natural resources.

The coast of El Salvador is among the country's least developed areas because of the low competitiveness of the business sector there and poor infrastructure. A total of 56 percent of coastal households live in poverty, compared to the national average of 37 per cent. But the zone also features the country's main ports, Acajutla and La UniÓn, and the border crossings of La Hachadura and El Amatillo. It boasts 51 per cent of the country's most fertile land, as well as rich environmental diversity and maritime resources.

The program will mark the beginning of new opportunities and a new way of life for the community it targets, helping to improve its economic growth, said Galileo SolÍs, IDB Project Team Leader.

The project, to be run in coordination with the Economy Ministry and the National Council of Micro- and Small-sized Businesses (CONAMYPE) will help improve the supply of goods and services from such companies via technical assistance, training, the use of information and communications technologies and by encouraging the creation of partnerships. Non-reimbursable co-financing will also be provided to those micro-, small- and medium-size companies with the greatest potential for growth in high-demand sectors such as fishing, fish farming, tourism and agro-industry.

The program also calls for financing infrastructure works to expand economic development. This includes the construction of three dual-use marinas for fishing and tourism on the islands of Zacatillo and ConchagÜita, and in Punta ChiquirÍn. It also includes money for investment in common use infrastructure such as warehouses to improve the quality and safety of fishing and fish farm products. This will make it easier for products from the area to gain access to national and international supply chains, adding value and reducing product loss.

The investments will be complemented with financing of road projects such as the refurbishing of the CorsaÍn-Las Playitas highway; the widening of the road between the towns of San Marcos Lempa and El Zamoran in UsulutÁn Department, and works to improve public areas that will be part of the waterfront esplanade in La UniÓn. The works will help reduce travel times and transport costs.

The loan will be over 25 years, with a grace period of 5.5 years and an interest rate based on LIBOR.The agencies executing the program are the Economy Ministry and the Ministry of Public Works, Transport, Housing and Urban Development.

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Source: TendersInfo (India)

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