OREANDA-NEWS. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has closed a $117.5 million A/B loan to International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) to help modernize and expand the port of Manzanillo, Mexico’s largest, helping the country boost its competitiveness through increased international trade and lower transportation costs.

The loan will help ICTSI increase the handling capacity of Manzanillo Port and shorten delivery times for Pacific Coast cargoes from the port. This will allow the Contecon Manzanillo S.A. terminal – which currently handles more than 60 percent of Mexico’s Pacific container traffic – to receive larger ships and offer higher quality services at a time when international trade across the Pacific is growing quickly.

“Deep-water port capacity is in short supply throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and IDB is pleased to support ICTSI’s efforts to add modern port capacity to the Mexican Pacific Coast,” said Jean-Marc Aboussouan, Chief of the IDB?s Infrastructure Division. “Contecon Manzanillo has already become a critical gateway terminal, and we look forward to supporting the further expansion and upgrade of the project.”

“Modern and efficient port infrastructure is essential to Mexico’s growth and development, and we are delighted to support this upgrade of Manzanillo Port in partnership with ICTSI,” said Gabriel Goldschmidt, IFC Head of Infrastructure for Latin America and the Caribbean. “This investment will speed up export and import times across the Pacific and help Mexico take advantage of increased trade flows as a result of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, also yielding lower costs for shippers, shipping lines and consumers.”

The $567 million port upgrade is expected to raise government revenues with higher concession fees and tax payments, and will employ more than 850 operational and managerial workers by 2020. Other investors in the project include the International Finance Corporation, Standard Chartered Bank and KfW Ipex Bank. The IDB financing package also includes a $25 million loan from the China Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean, administered by the Bank.

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source oflong-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean.The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.