The European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a Framework Agreement with the United States of Mexico in Luxembourg today.

Isabel Martín Castellá, EIB Vicepresident, and Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, Mexican Ambassador to the European Union, signed the second framework agreement for financial cooperation between the European Investment Bank and Mexico. This new agreement sets the general conditions under which the Bank may operate and encompasses the elements stemming from the EU-Mexico Cooperation Agreement. On this renewed basis the EIB will re-launch operations in the country.

EIB has so far supported 4 projects in Mexico, for a total amount of EUR 140 million. EIB lending activity in Latin America and Asia started in 1993. In total some 42 loans totalling EUR 1.9 billion have been provided for projects in Latin America.

The loan is provided in the context of the EU co-operation policy with third countries. In Asia and Latin America (ALA), the EIB may lend up to EUR 2.48 billion during 2000-2006 to support capital investment projects implemented by subsidiaries of EU companies or joint-ventures between EU and ALA firms, or investment that results in environmental improvements or fosters regional integration. The EIB was set up in 1958 to finance investment furthering EU integration. It lends for regional development, infrastructure, energy, industry and environment. Outside the EU, the Bank contributes to the European development co-operation policy in some 130 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Mediterranean region, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, Asia and Latin America.

In 2002, the EIB provided loans totalling some EUR 40 billion. The Bank borrows on the capital markets the funds for its lending. Its bonds have regularly been rated "AAA" by the leading rating agencies. The EIB can pass on to project promoters the excellent conditions it obtains on the markets. The EIB may finance up to 50 percent of project cost. On average it provides one third of the funding and co-finances investments with other institutions.