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Inter-American Development Bank plans reforms at annual meeting

Posted: Monday, March 28, 2022. 3:33 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and its investment arm, IDB Invest, are approved for a series of institutional reforms intended to modernize their business model and make customers in Latin America and the Caribbean more able to effectively address forthcoming challenges and accelerate inclusive and sustainable growth.

At its annual meeting, the IDB committed itself to strengthening the synergies between the public and private sectors, ensuring equal opportunities for women in areas including education, business, and justice, and doing more to help countries reach net-zero-emissions targets.

President Mauricio Claver-Carone allowed that the Bank can do even better after a record year in 2021: “The pandemic hit our most vulnerable citizens hard. Now the region faces rising inflation, higher global interest rates, and shifting geo-economic and geopolitical concerns. We rose to the occasion in 2020 and 2021, but we can now do even more by leveraging our strengths. Thanks to the Governors’ actions, we are now empowered to better help the region by mobilizing more private-sector resources and doing more in critical areas such as climate change and gender equality.”

The new business model for IDB Invest focuses on its ability to “scale up work with investors and companies throughout the region. IDB Invest’s innovative, new approach will focus on originating more impactful projects, de-risking private-sector investment, and using new financial and technical tools, to help crowd-in investment. The new business model goes hand-in-hand with the mandate for a capital increase proposal for IDB Invest, the details of which will be presented to the Boards of Executive Directors this fall.”

The Governors have also approved a “new value proposition” that will enable the Bank to accelerate regional development by better addressing social challenges, strengthening the private sector, and more ambitiously combatting climate change.

The IDB says it “will act as a hub, linking the private-sector work of IDB Invest with partnerships and projects on the public-sector side. This will enable the Bank to better leverage trillions of dollars in private-sector assets that the region must access to successfully combat climate change.”

The IDB has set out an ambitious list of targets, including working better with governments to correct market failures and structural bottlenecks that today prevent investment, improve institutions, strengthen the rule of law, and improve the business climate; IDB’s Invest new focus on originating socially impactful projects, de-risking them and offering them to institutional investors; and making the IDB Lab a hub to scale up the impact of private-sector projects and leverage its capacity to take on risk to do experimental work in frontier sectors and invest in early-stage projects. IDB Lab’s agility and ability to respond rapidly to clients’ needs will enhance the Bank’s capacity to test innovative ideas and carry out pilot programs that can be expanded to meet regional development goals.

“I am immensely proud of the analytical work done by our experts, and I thank our Boards of Governors and our Executive Directors for their overwhelming support,” President Claver-Carone concluded. “This is not the destination, but truly the beginning of our journey to help our member countries, as we make the IDB the gold standard of operational excellence. Our region deserves no less.”

The next Annual Meeting of the IDB and IDB Invest will take place in Panama.


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