Washington, Sep 26 (EFE).– The Inter-American Development Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding committing themselves to invest a combined $3 billion in development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean over the next five years.
The pact was finalized by the presidents of the respective organizations, Luis Alberto Moreno and David Bohigian, within the framework of the 60th anniversary of the IDB and includes the option to increase the investment to $5 billion.
In addition, OPIC and IDB Invest intend to match this investment by attracting additional capital from the private sector, for a total of between $6 billion and $10 billion.
Bohigian said that “Meeting the vast development needs of Latin America and the Caribbean will require innovative thinking and strategies.”
“By leveraging our toolkit and the regional expertise of IDB Invest, we can scale our impact and promote a private sector-led model that promises greater prosperity and stability throughout this critical region,” he added.
Meanwhile, James Scriven, the CEO of IDB Invest, emphasized that “To achieve shared development goals in Latin America and the Caribbean, IDB Invest seeks solid partners like OPIC to jointly attract private investors, multiply our impact, and ultimately make our mark on the region’s development.”
The funds will be concentrated in the infrastructure sector, especially in the areas of transportation, energy, water, education and healthcare, and will seek to give preference to businesses headed by – or offering products to empower – women.
The region currently invests less than 3.5 percent of its gross domestic product in infrastructure projects, and the IDB calculates that to reach the desired level of development it needs to invest between 5-6 percent, an equivalent of some $150 billion over the coming years.
For its 60th anniversary, the IDB is focusing on cooperating with the private sector.
The anniversary celebrations kicked off on Thursday with a business summit with the participation of the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Venezuelan-American Rafael Reif; Veronica Scotti, the official tasked with public solutions for the Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd., and Guadalupe Phillips, the CEO of Mexico’s Empresas ICA group.