The State Secretary for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America, Fernando García Casas, travelled to Asuncion (Paraguay) to attend the Annual Meeting of the IDB being held from 30 March to 2 April, as part of the Spanish delegation headed up by the State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Irene Garrido.
In Asuncion, the State secretary held a busy bilateral schedule, which included a meeting with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Paraguay, Eladio Loizaga, and with the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Oscar Cabello. During the meeting, they reviewed the current state of relations between the two countries and current regional affairs.
Fernando García Casas also met with the Minister for Health of Paraguay at the headquarters of the National Environmental Sanitation Service (Spanish acronym: SENASA), at which they tackled the projects that Spanish Cooperation is undertaking in the country through the Water and Sanitation Cooperation Fund (Spanish acronym: FCAS) of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Spanish acronym: AECID).
Within this framework, working meetings were held with the teams of the Technical Cooperation Office and the “Juan de Salazar” Spanish Cultural Centre at which the State secretary saw firsthand the initiatives being undertaken at the two centres in areas of bilateral and cultural cooperation and enquired after the activities of the Spanish Development NGOs in the country at a meeting with their representatives. Furthermore, at the residence of the Spanish Embassy in Asuncion, Fernando García Casas received a group of of the Spanish interns at the Carolina Foundation.
At an economic level, the State secretary attended, together with the President of ICO, Pablo Zalba, a meeting with the Spanish companies located in the country, at which the latter conveyed their impressions on the business climate and opportunities in Paraguay.
Within the framework of the Annual Meeting of the IDB, the State Secretary for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America was received, together with the State Secretary for Economic Affairs, by the President of the Bank, Luis Alberto Moreno, and senior executives of the institution.
The two State secretaries signed, together with the President of the IDB, the Framework Agreement for Joint Financing between the bank and the Kingdom of Spain, which represents a milestone in relations between Spanish Cooperation and the IDB, which will give a significant boost to financial cooperation between AECID and Latin America and the Caribbean. The bilateral committee set up with the bank will indentify a list of projects that will be co-financed by the Development Promotion Fund (Spanish acronym: FONPRODE). The priority areas will be water and sanitation, energy efficiency and climate change, development infrastructure and inclusive value chains.
In addition to this signing, in the coming months the first individual financing agreement will also be signed under this framework agreement. The project is entitled “Drinking Water and Sanitation Programme for Small Cities and Rural and Indigenous Communities in Paraguay”, for a total sum of 60 million dollars, of which FONPRODE will contribute one third.
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