Honduras, El Salvador and the U.S. Sign Cooperation Agreement

By Dialogo
September 27, 2010

On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Honduran President
Porfirio Lobo met with Salvadoran Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez and U.S. Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton on September 22 to sign agreements in support of
strengthening economic development and growth in the Central American

Led by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business
Affairs, the so-called BRIDGE Initiative – Building Remittance Investment for
Development Growth and Entrepreneurship – represents the United States’ commitment
to working with Honduras and El Salvador to develop and strengthen partnerships with
strong and reliable in-country financial institutions in order to maximize the
development impact of remittances flowing from the U.S., according to the U.S.
Department of State’s Office of the Spokesman.

Each of the agreements signed are part of a goal to bring more players into
the financial system, said Voice of America News
(VOA), and they will also help establish strong foundations for
sustainable, inclusive, and transformational economic growth.

The Inter-American Development Bank has estimated that Latin America and the
Caribbean receive some $50 billion annually in remittances from workers in the
United States. These have the potential to become an important door to allow the
region to meet its development goals as they can enable greater access to the
different types of long-term capital needed for the investments that will sustain
growth, said the Office of the Spokesman.

Under the BRIDGE Initiative, strong financial institutions in Honduras and El
Salvador will have the ability to become affiliated with partners including the
United States to explore options for a safer and sounder flow of their remittances.
This, in turn, will allow them to raise lower-cost and longer-term financing for
infrastructure, public works, and commercial development initiatives, which are
scarce in the region currently.

Market assessments supported by the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) confirmed the viability of the Initiative’s goals in Honduras
and El Salvador, said the Dept. of State.