Washington, July 20, 2010 - The following are remarks made by World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick on Monday at a signing ceremony to highlight three loans worth US $230 million to help create job opportunities for El Salvadorians and support El Salvador’s economic recovery.
“Well, I very much appreciate the opportunity to be here with the President and the Minister. I want to thank both of them, first of all, for hosting this important meeting of the countries of Central America.
I think we all believe that Central American integration is very important for addressing some of the critical issues of the region, issues of security, economic opportunity, social inclusion, and building institutions to strengthen democracy throughout the region.
The loans that we just signed, I know, are an important part of El Salvador's reform program. I know that the President and the Minister have worked hard with a fiscal reform to the legislature, and these loans will try to help provide financing for some of those that are poorest and most in need in El Salvador, but also to help build some institutions that will be important for El Salvador's development.
I have a long history of association with challenges of El Salvador and Central America, dating back to the peace accords of the region, and of course the Central American Free Trade Agreement, and I know that President Funes' administration is part of an important democratic transition, and I look forward to discussing with him and his colleagues ways that the Bank can help support the development of institutions, strengthening the private sector, creating opportunities for all of Salvadorans, the poor as well as those who have had advantages, ensuring the security and rule of law for all people of El Salvador, and I look forward to listening and learning from him how the World Bank can be of help.
And then, tomorrow, we will be able to try to extend this agenda for the countries of the region.
So, again, I want to thank him for being a gracious host and for taking a leading role in the efforts of today and for the regional meeting tomorrow.