The Inter-American Development Bank today launched Build the Americas, a mobile application designed to increase transparency and competition in the bidding process for infrastructure projects it finances in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The app provides access to information on upcoming IDB-financed procurements in sectors such as energy, transportation, and water and sanitation, while facilitating the connection between infrastructure developers and local suppliers of goods and services.
The IDB generates close to 500 bids totaling more than $3 billion in infrastructure contracts per year. For infrastructure developers in the region and around the world, it is difficult to access bidding opportunities in a timely manner or, often times, they’re unfamiliar with local companies they can work with.
A 1% reduction in logistics costs could increase exports for countries in the region by up to 8%.
"Build the Americas is an extremely important tool for infrastructure development in Latin America and the Caribbean. It promotes intra-regional trade at a greater scale, efficiency and security," said Fabrizio Opertti, Manager of the IDB's Integration and Trade Sector. “Investments in logistics and transportation are key to better integration.”
"Investing in infrastructure is critical to the region's economic recovery in the context of this pandemic, as it is a labor-intensive activity with a multiplier effect for growth," said Agustín Aguerre, Manager of the IDB's Infrastructure and Energy Sector. “When infrastructure investment is efficient, each dollar invested generates up to eight dollars of gross domestic product.”
The tool was presented today during the virtual event Build the Americas: Infrastructure Linkages for Economic Recovery, which took place during the IDB Group's Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors.
Build the Americas was designed for entrepreneurs in the infrastructure, construction, trade and related business organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean. The app is free to download and available for iOS and Android smart devices.
This tool was developed by ConnectAmericas, the IDB platform created to help small and medium-sized enterprises gain access to international markets. This social network has close to 500,000 registered users, of which 40,000 work in companies that offer goods or services related to infrastructure.
As part of the program, over 1,500 infrastructure developers and local suppliers participated in a seminar with international experts on innovation in the provision of infrastructure services and its impact on employment and supply chains in the region. The forum was attended by Mauricio J. Claver-Carone, president of the IDB, Ángela María Orozco Gómez, Minister of Transportation of Colombia, José Luis Domínguez, Undersecretary of Transportation of Chile, Estefanía León, Investment Director at John Laing in Colombia, and Jorge Seré, Director of PwC’s global Capital Projects & Infrastructure (CP&I) division.
After the seminar, attendees participated in a presentation where they learned about the most important infrastructure tenders for the region's economic recovery over the next two years, financed by the IDB. They also participated in a business roundtable where international infrastructure developers explored business opportunities with local suppliers throughout the region.
About the IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank's mission is to improve people’s lives. Since its founding in 1959, the IDB has been a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research projects and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.
ConnectAmericas is a free virtual platform created by the IDB, with the support of Google, Mastercard, Sealand, DHL and Facebook to help the internationalization of SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean. The platform allows nearly 500,000 entrepreneurs from 160 countries to explore business opportunities and provides them with training tools to facilitate their transactions. In 2016, the IDB launched the Mujeres ConnectAmericas initiative, an online business platform that seeks to boost the growth of women-led businesses in the region.