Queen Maxima Visits Colombia and Peru

  March 8, 2014 at 9:20 pm by

As special advocate of the Secretary-General of the UN for inclusive finance for development, Queen Maxima visited Colombia from March 3nd to March 5th and Peru from March 5th to March 7th.

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On Monday March 3rd, the Queen arrived in the Colombian city of Bucaramanga where she visited the “Fundation Delamujer”, a foundation established in 1987 which is an agricultural project funded by microcredit. The purpose of the visit was to promote various economic development programs; the Queen had a meeting with Teresa Eugenia Prada, Executive President of the Foundation, then she visited a citrus plantation with Mary Lucinda Sanabria Daza a member of the Fundation.

In the afternoon Queen Maxima went to Lebrija, a town in the municipality of Santander, where she met small traders, women farmers and entrepreneurs talking with them about their access to savings and credit mechanisms. The Queen visited a fabric store, a hair salon and a restaurant.

On Tuesday March 4th, the second day in Colombia, Queen Maxima had meetings with the Minister of Finance Mauricio Cardenas Santamaria for a discussion on the financial system, the Minister of Agriculture Ruben Dario Montoya Lizarralde and the Minister of Education Fernanda Campo Saavedra. All the meetings were focused on the financial system and on the progress in improving access to financial services. Then the Queen attended the first meeting of the National Financial Education Committee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During the last day in Colombia, on Wednesday March 5th, Queen Maxima had a brief meeting with the Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at the Presidencial Palace. Then, along with the first lady Maria Clemencia Rodriguez Munera, Queen Maxima visited “AeioTu” child care center in Ciudad Bolivar, shantytown in Bogota. This center is a social enterprise focused to get health education, nutrition, child care and financially education to the mothers. The Queen and the first lady interacted with mothers and children and they received as gift a doll made from recycled materials.

View the full image at Het Koninklijk Huis

The last event in Colombia for Queen Maxima was the presentation of the Colombian National Strategy for Inclusive Finance hosted by the Minister of Finance. In her speech the Queen congratulated with the Minister of Finance Mauricio Cardenas Santamaria for “your significant and sustained efforts to make financial services widely available during the last decade.” Later this day, the Queen left for Peru.

On Thursday March 6th, the first day in Peru, Queen Maxima had meetings with representatives of the United Nations in Peru. At the working session held at the UN House where present John Preissing, Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative of FAO in Peru, representatives of the Andean Development Corporation (CAF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank Group and Ambassador Netherlands in Peru, Johan L. van der Werff. The topic of the meetings was how Peru can ensure that everyone has access to financial services so the poor can develop the accession and the use of financial products such as insurance, credit, saving and opening and using bank accounts.

In the afternoon the Queen went to the neighborhoods Huaycan and Caja Marquilla on the outskirts of Lima to meet local market vendors and hear their experiences.

During the second and last day in Peru, on Friday March 7th, Queen Maxima was received at the Presidencial Palace by the Peruvian President Ollanta Humala and his wife Nadine Heredia. The Presidential couple offered a lunch to the Queen and then took place a roundtable at the presence of the Ministers of Economy and Finance, Development and Social Inclusion and Education. One of the topic of the discussion was how to make financial services more accessible for people in remote areas with the help of electronic banking.

In the afternoon the Queen, along with the first lady Nadine Heredia, attended at the forum “Strengthening Women Entrepreneurship”, an international initiative to support the female entrepreneurship. In her speech the Queen said that “Peruvian women are famous throughout the world for its entrepreneurial spirit”, and she also stressed the measures taken to improve the access to financial services in Peru.

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