US, Mexico Partnership for Prosperity Spurs Economic Initiatives
SAN FRANCISCO - More than 850 senior US and Mexican officials and corporate executives met recently at the St. Francis Hotel here to discuss the details of a number of major initiatives to spark economic development in Mexico.
Partnership announcements at the two-day US-Mexico Partnership for Prosperity symposium included the historic signing of an agreement which will enable the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to offer a full range of financial and risk-insurance services to US firms doing business in Mexico.
Officials also announced the announcement of an agreement between the two countries to create a Peace Corps program in Mexico that would bring volunteers in the high-tech sector to work with Mexico's National Council on Science and Technology (CONACYT) on small business development, science and technology and science and development.
In addition, U.S. Bank and the Mexican savings bank BANSEFI announced a new low-cost service to transfer funds from the US to the most rural communities in Mexico for as low as six dollars per transfer through a commercial banking alliance known as The People's Network.
The US Trade and Development Agency announced plans to provide $1.38 million in assistance for feasibility studies for infrastructure projects in Mexico, including the expansion of the Ciudad Obregon airport, development of Mexico's Intelligent Transportation Systems Architecture project and support for Mexico's Federal Competition Commission.
The US Federal Reserve Bank and the Bank of Mexico announced the establishment of an automated clearinghouse for cross-border financial transactions. Called the International Electronic Funds Transfer System (TEFI), the clearinghouse will reduce the cost of financial transactions to less than one dollar.
Georgetown University and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced plans to provide training in Mexico and to develop a cadre of technically-trained business leaders in the agriculture and export sectors.
The US Small Business Administration and Mexico's Economic Secretariat and National Financing Agency signed an agreement to work together to develop stronger commercial ties to spur increased trade between small businesses, and the US Council on Competitiveness launched a Mexican counterpart organization - the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness - to cooperate on competitiveness and foster regional economic development.
The public-private Partnership for Prosperity initiative was launched by President George W. Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox in September, 2001 to target economic development in the areas of Mexico which generate the most emigrants, based on the premise that no Mexican should feel compelled to leave his home for lack of economic opportunity.
More information is available at the Partnership web site at www.p4pworks.org
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