The EIB, the European Union's long-term financing institution, and the Republic of Honduras concluded the Framework Agreement under which the Bank may start lending for capital investment in Honduras in the context of European Union's co-operation policy with third countries. The Framework Agreement was signed by Mr. Luis Martí, EIB's Vice-President with special responsibility for the Bank's activities in Latin America, and Mr. José Delmer Urbizo Panting, Honduras Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The EIB finances capital investment in non-member countries which have concluded co-operation agreements with the European Union. In Latin America the Bank has so far concluded framework agreements with Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Following an invitation from the European Council of Ministers, the EIB's Board of Governors authorised lending up to ECU 750 million, over a period of three years (1993-1996), for projects of mutual interest located in thirty Latin American and Asian (ALA) countries. Under this authorisation the EIB has already financed projects for electricity development in Costa Rica (ECU 44 million), for natural gas distribution in Argentina (ECU 46 million), for telecommunications in Chile (ECU 75 million), for road transport in Argentina (ECU 45 million) and Peru (ECU 27 million), and for environment improvement in Argentina (ECU 76 million) and Paraguay (ECU 17 million). On 7 February 1997 EIB's Board of Governors approved a new lending facility for projects in ALA countries of ECU 275 million to be used by the end of June 1997.

The EIB was set up in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome to provide loan finance for capital investment furthering European Union policy objectives, in particular, regional development, European infrastructure, energy, industry and environment. Outside the Union, the EIB contributes to European development co-operation policy in accordance with the terms and conditions laid down in the various agreements linking the Union to some 130 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean region, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, Asia and Latin America.

Conversion rates on 31/12/1996: 1 ECU = 16.0377 HNL.