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Central American development bank inaugurates first office outside region in Taiwan

Taipei has contributed millions in cooperation funding for pandemic, hurricane relief

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(Getty Images photo)

(Getty Images photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) on Tuesday (July 6) officially opened its first office outside Central America in Taipei as it looks to expand its reach in Asia.

The multilateral development bank invests in both private and public projects aimed at furthering regional economic integration and development in the Central American region, with an eye toward environmental sustainability.

Taiwan is one of the seven non-regional members and one of only two in Asia, alongside South Korea, and has provided key financing in the areas of education, food security, agriculture, and small and medium-sized enterprises, according to the bank, which pointed out that Taiwan has also contributed US$266.7 million in cooperation funds in the wake of the pandemic and two category 4 hurricanes that ripped through Central America last fall.

The bank's executive president, Dante Mossi, said of the new office, "Despite navigating a pandemic, CABEI has been able to continue working with its member countries while expanding its geographic presences to better attend the needs of its members."

The Taiwan branch is expected to support CABEI operations while giving the institution more immediate access to Asian markets.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Twitter praised the new office, tweeting that it "spotlights Taiwan's strategic importance as a base for supporting the creation of trade, investment, & financing opportunities in Asia."

Headquartered in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, CABEI was founded in 1960 by that country and regional neighbors Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

CABEI enjoys formidable credit ratings, with its capacity to meet long-term commitments rated AA by S&P and Japan Credit Rating and Aa3 by Moody's. The scores have consolidated CABEI as the best credit risk in Latin America, according to Dr. Mossi.

Plans for a Taiwan office were announced early last year. On April 23 of this year, Mossi and the governor of Taiwan's central bank, Yang Ching-long (楊金龍), inked the agreement formalizing it.