By Chen Yun-yu and Chiang Yi-ching
TAIPEI, Taiwan, (CNA) — The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) is set to open a regional office in Taiwan, it said in a statement April 1, in which it also highlighted Taiwan’s contributions to the region amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the statement, CABEI said the initiative reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to support countries in Central America, especially during the current economic downturn, and it will aim to attract investment by promoting the region’s competitiveness.
Taiwan, which has been a member of CABEI since 1992, is the largest extra-regional partner of the bank and has a long history of supporting the region in the areas of food security, agriculture and education, it said.
CABEI executive president Dante Mossi recognized the “punctual support” that Taiwan has offered to the world amid the new coronavirus disease pandemic. In particular, Taiwan has provided “invaluable contributions” to several Central American countries ” in order to establish and strengthen actions” to contain the pandemic, Mossi said.
The news of CABEI’s initiative was noted Friday on Twitter by Michael Kozak, acting assistant secretary for the United States State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.
In his tweet, which was shared by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) on Monday, Kozak said the US welcomed the Central American bank’s announcement and praised Taiwan as consistently demonstrating its commitment to the region.
Founded in 1960, the CABEI is a multilateral development bank that aims to promote economic integration and balanced development in Central America and has 15 member states.
Taiwan has diplomatic relations with four of the seven countries in Central America — Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and Nicaragua — its highest concentration of allies in any part of the world.