The Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, said: "It is a pleasure to place the more than 20 years' experience of Spanish Cooperation in the financial inclusion sector at the service of this joint European Union and "Team Europe" program, which aims to promote access to financial services for the most disadvantaged people of Latin America. The latter is a region with which we share considerable historic links and is one which we need to support at this time to address the devastating impact of Covid-19 in the sector. Now more than ever we need to combine forces to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda.”
The European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: "Providing access to banking services in Latin America is a challenge which, like so many others, disproportionately affects women, people with lower incomes and rural communities. As "Team Europe", and alongside Spain, we are proud to support the region's efforts to tackle this challenge and to increase green financing for small businesses. Together, Europe and Latin America are pursuing the goal of building a greener, more sustainable and fairer post-Covid world.”
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, said: "Supporting projects such as TIF, which will contribute to improving banking accessibility in Latin America, for MSMEs and women in particular, is a priority for Spain. At COFIDES, we are happy to apply our experience in order to continue contributing to Latin America's economic growth, with projects that ensure threefold sustainability: economic, environmental and social".
Madrid, November 10, 2020. The TIF (Triple Inclusive Finance) Program, which aims to facilitate access to financing for Latin America's low-income population while ensuring environmental and social sustainability, has received support from the European Union's Latin America Investment Facility (known as LAIF). TIF is the first blended finance project led by COFIDES in Latin America in collaboration with the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), through the Development Promotion Fund (FONPRODE), and Team Europe.
In line with one of the EU's priorities and with one of the cross-cutting issues of Spanish Cooperation, environmental quality, TIF will support economic growth through inclusive green financing and private sector development in Latin America.
RESPONDING TO THE NEED FOR BANKING ACCESSIBILITY IN LATIN AMERICA
The TIF program stems from the need for banking accessibility in Latin America, where only 54% of adults have an account in a financial institution compared to 94% in high-income countries. This gap is exacerbated in rural areas, among women and in the lower economic strata. In addition, there is a need to develop stimulate - in a sustainable manner - the agricultural sector, which is particularly affected by the consequences of climate change and Covid-19.
ENVIRONMENTAL, FINANCIAL AND SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY OBJECTIVES
Microfinancing involves a challenge which is twofold: increasing its presence and promoting and diversifying the use of its services. Although the microfinancing sector in the region has tailored its services to meet the needs of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and to the practices of green financing and support for sustainable agriculture, there is still much room for development. The TIF program, in its commitment to support green microfinancing, combining environmental, financial and social sustainability objectives, will act in three areas of intervention: financial deepening, climate financing and institutional strengthening.
FONPRODE AND EU RESOURCES
To achieve this, TIF will provide financing by means of loans (approximately 53 million Euros) and technical assistance (5.75 million Euros). The FONPRODE, managed by AECID, will grant loans to financial service providers, mainly microfinance institutions. Technical assistance will be financed with EU funds, from LAIF in particular. The support will be aimed at borrowing financial institutions and is extensible to their current and potential clients.
Both parties hope that this program will be the beginning of a fruitful relationship that will support and address the specific needs of the private sector in the region. TIF is expected to benefit 31,000 urban and rural MSMEs with limited or no access to the formal financial sector, including small and medium-sized agricultural producers. At least 54% of MSMEs located in rural areas will have access to financial services and investment support. In addition, at least 45% of the loans will be granted to MSMEs managed by women. It is hoped that this will allow 62,000 direct and indirect jobs to be supported in the region.
The proposed technical assistance will significantly increase the efficiency and impact of the financing provided by improving the capacities of financial service providers, aligning the interests of all stakeholders and catalysing private sector participation in inclusive green finance, ensuring the sustainability of the program.
AECID is the main body responsible for managing Spanish policy on international cooperation. It aims to combat poverty and promote sustainable development. The agency promotes the full exercise of development, seen as a fundamental human right, with the fight against poverty part of the process of developing this right. To this end, it follows the guidelines of the 5th Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation, with a focus on cross-cutting issues: the human rights-based approach and fundamental freedoms, the gender perspective, environmental quality and respect for cultural diversity; all in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. AECID operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation via the State Secretariat for International Cooperation.
LAIF is one of the European Union's regional blended financing facilities. It aims to mobilise funding from European and regional financial institutions, governments and the private sector to carry out sustainable development projects in seventeen Latin American countries.
Since its inception in 2010, LAIF has co-financed 47 projects, with a total investment cost of approximately 11.6 billion euros and a LAIF contribution of 426 million euros. For every euro contributed by the EU through LAIF, an estimated 27 euros of investment was committed by the project's financial partners.
tar. It also has its own technology centre focused on distributed energy (CETED), which is unique in its sector and has a staff of 78 people.
COFIDES is a state-owned company which has been offering financial support to Spanish companies investing abroad. COFIDES is accredited to the European Union (EU) to manage funds coming from the EU budget, allowing the structuring of transactions with a high impact on development. COFIDES is also accredited to the UN’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) and can therefore structure operations on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Moreover, COFIDES is the exclusive manager of FIEX and FONPYME funds on behalf of the Secretariat of State for Trade attached to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and also supports AECID in managing FONPRODE funds. COFIDES’s shareholders include Banco Santander, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Banco Sabadell and CAF-Development Bank of Latin America.