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The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) is an international juridical person, established in accordance with the Constitutive Agreement signed on December 13th, 1960 by the Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, and started operations on May 31st,, 1961. Costa Rica became a member of the Institution in 1963.

In 1992, the Constitutive Agreement was reformed to allow the adhesion of non-regional member countries, leading, that the same year, to the incorporation of Mexico and the Republic of China (Taiwan). Subsequently, Argentina joined in 1995 and Colombia in 1997. Spain followed in 2005, in November 2006, Belize entered the Bank as a nonfounding beneficiary member and in 2007 Panama and the Dominican Republic entered the Bank as non-regional beneficiary members.

CABEI was founded to meet the need for a regional financial institution specialized in attracting and channeling foreign resources in order to foster regionally balanced economic progress, social development and cooperation under the framework of the General Treaty on Economic Integration, which was drawn up during the fifties and the sixties.

CABEI is composed of a Board of Governors, a Board of Directors, an Executive President, an Executive Vice President, and a staff of officers chosen according to the highest standards.

The Board of Governors is the Bank's highest authority. In conformity with the Constitutive Agreement, the Governors are, without distinction, the Minister of Economy or the President of the Central Bank or persons acting on their behalf, or those persons to whom said representation belongs according to the internal law of the respective country. Each country shall appoint a Titular Governor and an Alternate Governor.

The Board of Directors is the authority responsible for the direction of the Bank. To that end, it exercises all the powers delegated thereto by the Board of Governors. The Board of Directors is composed of up to nine members. Five are elected at the proposal of the respective founding countries by a majority of Governors from said countries, with one Director for each founding country. The remaining four Directors are elected by the Governors of the non-regional members. Those Directors from the non-regional member countries, who are elected by obtaining the votes of two non-regional countries, have the right to appoint an Alternate Director.

The Executive President is elected from a list of three candidates, selected on the basis of a contest. He is the Bank's highest-ranking officer and the Institution's legal representative. He is responsible for the Bank's management and holds his position for five years, with the possibility of being reelected one time only.

CABEI´s authorized capital is US$2.0 billion, divided into two hundred thousand shares. Of said capital, the founding members have subscribed US$1.02 billion in equal portions; thus, US$980.0 million is available for non-regional members, of which US$702.9 million has already been subscribed.

As of December 31, 2006, paid-in capital amounted to US$404.1 million. On the same date, the Bank's total equity amounted to US$1.54 billion.

From the beginning of operations to December 31, 2006, CABEI has approved resources of more than US$11.53 billion. With a regional vision, the Bank's resources have been targeted at upgrading the physical and support infrastructure for Central American production and the development and competitiveness of the productive sectors, as well as promoting human and social development. In 2004, CABEI designed a new institutional strategy to mobilize its resources in a more focused manner. It defines three strategic axes for directing the Bank's actions in its member countries. These are (1) poverty reduction (2) the competitive insertion of the member countries into the international economy and, (3) regional integration.

As a result of this strategic focus, CABEI has become the main source of medium and long term financing in Central America. In 2006, CABEI channeled 60.4% of total multilateral disbursements to Central America in order to provide financing with interest rates and terms appropriate for the region's economic and social development needs. It also promoted the creation of an integrated regional economic block capable of responding to the challenges and opportunities presented by globalization.

For more information please visit: www.bcie.org

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