The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved $100 million dollars for Costa Rica to modernize its border-crossing infrastructure, the Ministry of Finance announced on Tuesday. The plan seeks to bolster trade competitiveness at Costa Rica’s four border crossings with Nicaragua and Panama. In late 2014, Nicaragua completed the construction of a bridge at the Las Tablillas border crossing over the disputed San Juan River.
Costa Rica also requested a $200 million credit line to back renewable energy, transmission and distribution projects. The energy projects would help mitigate the impact of climate change and promote sustainable economic growth and regional integration through the Mercado Eléctrico Regional (Central Regional Electricity Market—MER).
“In close coordination with the Bank, after reviewing the progress of all running programs, we established the most important projects for 2015, which we defined in accordance with the priorities established by the government in the National Development Plan,” said Minister of Finance Helio Fallas.
The IDB will provide an additional $2.9 million in technical cooperation grants for Costa Rica’s social and fiscal growth, and will help formulate the 2015-2018 Country Strategy, a joint initiative between the IDB and the Costa Rican government that will address issues such as macroeconomic stability, public finances, competitiveness, infrastructure and poverty reduction.
The current $1.1 billion portfolio of programs between Costa Rica and the IDB includes projects in areas of transportation, energy, education, tourism and prevention of violence, among others.