Kamala Harris, Nicaragua al margen de grandes proyectos

Nicaragua is left out of large investment projects in Central America

Nicaragua has been left out of the great investment and economic development initiatives, announced in the framework of the IX Summit of the Americas, to strengthen Central America and in the process stop the migratory flow towards the United States.

Political tensions between Nicaragua and the United States Due to the demands for the restitution of civil liberties and democratic rights violated by the police state imposed by the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, they have caused the country to be sidelined from these projects announced this Wednesday.

Ortega was not even invited to participate in this Summit, along with the representatives of the Cuban and Venezuelan regimes. Nicaraguan civil society in exile has assumed the representation in the event, and has used it as a forum to denounce the outrages and abuses of the regime.

The Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, announced three investment initiatives to strengthen the private sector in the region, focused on the Northern Triangle: El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

The main initiative is the private investment of 1.9 billion dollars, by ten American companies. This includes a $700 million expansion of cellular networks in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador by Miami-based Millicom; a commitment of 270 million dollars from Visa, to promote digital payments; and an investment close to 150 million dollars by Gap Inc. that could imply up to 5,000 new jobs, according to a France24 report.

The second announcement points to the economic empowerment of women in Latin America, especially those who reside in the north of Central America. The program called “In Her Hands” —In Her Hands—, a private sector initiative to empower, empower and protect women throughout the Western Hemisphere.

The program includes the training of more than 500,000 women and girls in basic job skills and agribusiness, the promotion of gender parity and the connection of more than 1.4 million women with the financial system and the digital economy, according to the report. from France24.

Finally, the third initiative exposed by Harris is the presentation of the Central American Service Corps (CASC, for its acronym in English), an initiative of 50 million dollars, administered by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to open doors to young people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in the labor market.

The vice president emphasized the role of the private sector in containing irregular migration from Central America, assuring that it allows the creation of an “ecosystem of opportunities.”

Investments in companies, keys to stop irregular migration

In a forum with businessmen parallel to the IX Summit of the Americas, Harris made it clear that business investments are a fundamental axis of his strategy to reduce the flow of undocumented migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

“Governments alone cannot deal with this issue. We must partner with the private sector,” Harris stressed.

A year ago, the vice president assumed the mission of coordinating with Central America to reduce the arrival of undocumented immigrants at the southern border of the United States, and the main weight of her strategy has been assumed by different companies, which have agreed to invest in the countries of the Northern Triangle.

In the last year, dozens of companies such as Microsoft, Nespresso, Visa or Gap have committed to investing a total of 3.2 billion dollars in different projects in the Northern Triangle.

“These investments are on track to generate tens of thousands of jobs. They will help more than ten million people to access banking and credit services. And they have given an internet connection to two million people,” stressed Harris.

He assured that this approach could also be applied “in other issues and in other parts of the continent, and even by other governments”, to tackle issues such as the climate crisis, corruption, violence or “democratic backsliding”.

The Summit of the Americas It is celebrated in a context of an increase in the arrival of undocumented immigrants at the southern border of the United States and while a caravan of nearly 15,000 migrants continues its advance through southern Mexico.

US President Joe Biden, during his inaugural address at the IX Summit of the Americas.
Photo: Confidential | EFE

IDB prepares plan to double investment in the region

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is finalizing a historic reform with which it seeks to double its financing in the region hand in hand with the private sector, informed the president of the entity, Mauricio Claver-Carone, in the framework of the Summit of the Americas .

“Our goal is to equate the sovereign portfolio and the private sector portfolio, which would basically double the financing that we are carrying out,” Claver-Carone said in an interview with Efe, within the framework of the IX edition of this event, which was celebrates until Friday in Los Angeles.

The president of the IDB was the host of an investment and trade forum that brought together ministers of the industry and foreign affairs from several countries in the Americas, as well as leaders from the private sector.

The reform consists of giving greater weight to IDB Invest, the investment arm of the IDB in the private sector, which would now become “purely a bank for mobilization of the private sector,” according to Claver-Carone.

In 2021, the IDB and IDB Invest reached a record of nearly $23.4 billion in new financing approvals, commitments, and mobilizations from the private sector.

With this new initiative, Claver-Carone believes that “it could reach 30 billion dollars with the capitalization of IDB Invest” just in the short term.

“The private sector is where we can mobilize more money. Governments can continue to put money to support the region on the sovereign side, but it is limited”, he stated.

He added that the IDB would be like “a conduit for private sector investments” in the region, creating an additional development impact.

Mexico advocates “investing more in Central America”

The Foreign Minister of Mexico, Marcelo Ebrard, announced this Wednesday that he will ask at the IX Summit of the Americas for “a new ordering of migration” in the region that promotes “mobility programs” to put an end to the caravans of thousands of people on their way to the United States.

“Many hands are missing to work here, in the United States, so labor mobility can be organized, with a series of regulations, that protect the rights of people,” Ebrard told journalists, in an act at the Mexican consulate in The Angels.

The migration crisis is one of the central issues at this IX Summit of the Americas, which will not include representatives of the governments of Cuba, Venezuela, or Nicaragua, three countries that send migrants, but which have been vetoed by the United States. be considered undemocratic.

The head of Mexican diplomacy announced that the countries invited to the conference are already working on a pact that will highlight the need to “invest more in Central America,” among other points.

*With information from EFE

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