CABEI calls for increased cooperation with S. Korea

SEJONG-- The head of a Central American development bank called Monday for increased cooperation with South Korea.

Dante Mossi, executive president of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), met with South Korean Vice Finance Minister Kim Yong-beom and expressed hope that the two sides can boost cooperation through South Korea's economic development cooperation fund and bilateral memorandums of understanding in private and public sectors.

Mossi was in Seoul to celebrate South Korea's upcoming joining of the multilateral development bank in Central America, and to attend a session meant to expand exchanges between the two sides.

In December, South Korea signed the accession protocol with the bank, which was endorsed by South Korea's parliament in February.

South Korea is set to become the 15th member state of the multilateral lender once Seoul completes its domestic procedures.

South Korea is set to provide US$112.5 million to the Central American financial institution in the coming years for a 7.6 percent stake, the second-largest held by a non-regional member after the 11.62 percent controlled by Taiwan, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Founded in 1960, CABEI is aimed at extending loans to private and government-led development projects in the Central America region.

South Korea has so far provided 1.3 trillion won ($1.1 billion) in loans to 35 projects in Bolivia, Ecuador and six other countries in Central and South America since 1987.

Kim said that South Korea's ties with Central America can get a big boost through South Korea's joining of the regional bank and its free trade deal with five Central American countries.

South Korea's free trade deal with Honduras and Nicaragua went into effect earlier this month, as the first step of its comprehensive trade pact with five Central American countries.

The deal with the remaining countries -- Costa Rica, El Salvador and Panama -- will also go into effect after they complete remaining procedures.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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