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IDB to mark 40th Anniversary with extraordinary meeting of Bank Governors in Brazil, December 2-4

Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank will hold an extraordinary meeting in Rio de Janeiro on Dec. 2-3 and at the Hotel Quitandinha in Petrópolis, Brazil, on Dec. 4 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Bank and to review its challenges for the 21st Century.

The Committee of the Board of Governors, a working group that represents countries with a majority of the IDB’s shares, will meet at the headquarters of the Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, Dec. 2, and Friday, Dec. 3. Among the topics the governors will discuss is a strategy document for the next century prepared jointly by IDB management and the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors.

IDB governors hold the rank of finance ministers, economy ministers, or central bank presidents and constitute the institution’s top policy-making body.

Also meeting will be the Committee of the Board of Governors of the Inter-American Investment Corporation, a member of the IDB Group that supports private sector growth through loans and investments for medium-sized and small enterprises. The IIC governors will discuss admitting new countries as members of the corporation in conjunction with a capital increase.

On Saturday, Dec. 4, the governors will transfer to the Hotel Quitandinha in Petrópolis, where in 1954 a meeting of finance ministers of the American states set up a committee to design a regional financial institution.

The IDB was founded as a cornerstone of the Inter-American system in 1959 following an initiative the previous year by the then Brazilian President Juscelino Kubitschek, who proposed to President Eisenhower that specific action be taken to promote development of the region.

Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso is expected to participate in the ceremony at Quitandinha, as are other Western Hemisphere heads of state representing subregional integration groups.

The IDB, the world’s oldest and largest regional development bank, has been the main source of multilateral financing for Latin America and the Caribbean for the past five years.

As of Jan. 1, 1999, the Bank approved 2,562 loans totaling $95.6 billion, supporting projects with a total cost of $240 billion.

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