U.S. Trade and Development Agency
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Telephone (703) 875-4357 * Fax (703) 875-4009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MEDIA INQUIRIES:
USTDA DEVELOPS THE CAPACITY OF MEXICO’S FINANCIAL SECTOR
Grants Totaling $1.5 Million will Support Key Financial Education
and Rural Agricultural Training Programs
Mr. Javier Gavito, BANSEFI Chief Executive Officer, and USTDA Director Askey sign an agreement awarding BANSEFI a USTDA grant for a financial literacy education project. Standing are Mr. David G. Estefan, BANSEFI Chief of Staff, and USTDA Country Manager Kate Maloney.
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – (May 2, 2006) Improving and streamlining Mexico’s public financial sector consistent with the goals of the U.S.-Mexico Partnership for Prosperity and the Security and Prosperity Partnership is the objective of two grants awarded April 28, 2006 by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA). The grants, totaling $1,544,659, further Mexico’s financial development by funding a financial literacy education project for Banco del Ahorro Nacional y Servicios Financieros, Sociedad Nacional de Crédito, Institución de Banca de Desarrollo ( BANSEFI), Mexico’s National Savings Bank, and a “train-the-trainers” agriculture finance training program for Financiera Rural, a major Mexican financial lender to agricultural and rural communities.
“The emergence of Mexico’s financial sector underpins the development of the rest of Mexico’s economy,” said USTDA Director Thelma J. Askey. “USTDA is pleased to build on the success of our portfolio in Mexico by working with strong partners to strengthen the country’s capacity in the financial sector.”
Director Askey signed agreements to confer the grants during separate ceremonies held at the BANSEFI and Financiera Rural offices in Mexico City. Mr. Javier Gavito, BANSEFI Chief Executive Officer, signed the BANSEFI agreement. Dr. Jose Antonio Meade, Financiera Rural Chief Executive Officer, signed the Financiera Rural agreement.
The first grant, totaling $697,550, will support technical assistance to BANSEFI in carrying out a financial literacy education project targeting low-income families. The project, which is modeled after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Money Smart program, recognizes that a more inclusive financial system is likely to improve the livelihood of Mexican families through increased savings levels. The project seeks to increase Mexico’s capital mobilization ability through increased deposits stemming from the $20 billion in annual remittance flows from the United States into Mexico.
Dr. Jose Antonio Meade, Financiera Rural Chief Executive Officer, and USTDA Director Askey shake hands following the award of a USTDA grant to Financiera Rural for a “train-the-trainers” agriculture finance training program.
The USTDA-funded technical assistance to BANSEFI will further these goals by developing and applying training modules on the uses, benefits and various forms of basic financial products and services. Examples of the covered products and services include checking and savings accounts, home mortgage products, funds transfer, car loans, pension funds and retirement products.
The $847,109 grant to Financiera Rural will support the establishment of a bank officer training program that responds to the need for greater skill in project finance, risk assessment, credit and loan analysis through the development, implementation and electronic recording of two levels of bank officer training programs. The training programs will significantly improve the quality of loans extended to the agricultural community and have a direct impact on the Mexican rural financial system and rural community economic growth.
The opportunities to conduct the feasibility studies and provide the technical assistance under the grants awarded today will be competed separately on the Federal Business Opportunities website at www.fedbizopps.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions contained in the Federal Business Opportunities announcements. BANSEFI and Financiera Rural will select the U.S. contractors that will provide the assistance funded by their respective USTDA grants.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, orientation visits, and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment, and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.