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Pricing Transparency Launch in Bolivia

Published on May 20, 2010

by Jessica Haeussler

Chuck Waterfield, CEO & President of MFTransparency; Fernando Prado, Secretario Ejecutivo of ASOFIN; Nestor Castro, Gerente of FINRURAL; signing MFTransparency’s Endorsement Statement at the transparency workshop in La Paz, Bolivia.

Last week, we officially launched our Transparent Pricing Initiative in Bolivia, sponsored by the Ford Foundation and MicroNed.  This project launch in our third Latin American country has been a great success and we’re excited about the widespread support from the diverse Bolivian microfinance community!

Stakeholders from the entire spectrum of the local microfinance industry joined us in the launch of the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Bolivia. The two local microfinance networks ASOFIN and FINRURAL are our strategic implementation partners in this effort and we are very pleased to announce that all their member institutions attended our events in La Paz and Santa Cruz. In La Paz, 71 participants attended our workshop on May 4th, including representatives from the vast majority of MFIs, among them Banco Los Andes ProCredit, Banco Sol, Banco FIE, CRECER, PRODEM and ProMujer, downscaling banks such as Banco Unión and Banca Minorista del Banco de Crédito BCP, as well as the Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) and the Supervisory Authority of the Financial System (ASFI). Also in attendance were investors including  Oikocredit, LOCFUND, Bolivian Investments Management and Alphamundi Group, and other industry stakeholders such as the Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF), World Vision, Fundación PROFIN, Consultora IMPACTO, CONFIE, AFIN, and representatives of the local media.

As a special highlight, the directors of the local microfinance networks ASOFIN and FINRURAL, Fernando Prado and Nestor Castro, inaugurated the workshop and highlighted the importance of pricing transparency during the opening ceremony in La Paz. In the course of the closing ceremony they signed MFTransparency’s Endorsement Statement, joining more than 350 endorsers from around the world. Many other representatives of the Bolivian microfinance community followed their example. Check out our full list of endorsers to see who else has joined in recently.

The following day we held the same workshop in Santa Cruz, where 33 representatives of the local microfinance community joined our event, among them several coorperatives, such as Coop Jesús Nazareno, various MFIs including AgroCapital, Emprender, Fassil, FUBODE, and FUNBODEM, as well as Hábitat para la Humanidad, and other industry support organizations. During our week in Bolivia, we also held one-on-one meetings with Banco FIE, Banco Los Andes ProCredit, CRECER, PRODEM and ProMujer, who all expressed their support for this Initiative. It was also a great experience to meet with the Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) and the Supervisory Authority of the Financial System (ASFI), as well with our partners, the local microfinance networks ASOFIN and FINRURAL, and we greatly appreciate the support of all the organizations we met.

Our initial Bolivia trip was a wonderful opportunity to personally meet a range of industry stakeholders and we are delighted to work with the Bolivian microfinance community over the coming months. In my next blog post, I will share some insights on the current status of transparency in Bolivia as well as some of the outstanding pricing transparency efforts already undertaken by local MFIs.

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