A loan agreement for US$80mn destined for the Highway Rehabilitation and Upgrading Program has been signed in Panama City by Andean Development Corporation (CAF) President and CEO Enrique Garc­a and Panama’s minister of economy and finance Carlos Vallarino.

Garc­a said that CAF was especially interested in actively participating in the partial financing of the important investment infrastructure programs implemented by the Panamanian government.

“These have a positive impact on the development of the country and contribute to the objective of improving Panamanian competitiveness by cutting transport costs which facilitates the country’s international participation and increases opportunities for society.

“The corporation’s mission is to support initiatives linked to the integration of the region and the improvement of the competitiveness of its member countries. This programme fully meets with these objectives,” he said.

The programme aims to reduce the operating costs of vehicles and the travel time of users; improve road safety and stimulate the economic and commercial activities of the Free Zone and the ports of the cities of Panama and Colon, as well as between Panama City and the interior of the country.
The total estimated cost of the programme is US$125mn. CAF will contribute US$80mn (64%) and Panama US$45mn (36%). The loan has a 12-year term with a grace period of 3.5 years.

The ministry of public works is the executing agency and the ministry of economy and finance is the borrower.

The main works to be financed are located on the Panama-Colon Trans-Isthmus Highway and the Arraijn-La Chorrera Highway.