The year 2006 marks three decades since the first group of non-regional countries actually joined the Bank. In 1976, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the former Yugoslavia became members of the Bank. With their contributions the interregional capital was created, with $502 million, as part of the authorized capital, adding financial resources to the ordinary capital to finance development projects in Latin American and the Caribbean.
In the course of the IDB’s history, other non-regional countries have joined to Austria, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Sweden in 1977; Portugal in 1980; Norway in 1986; Croatia and Slovenia as successors of Yugoslavia in 1993; and the Republic of Korea in 2005.
Today, the Bank’s family is made up of 47 member countries, of which 26 are borrowing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 19 are non-regional or non-Western Hemisphere member countries (16 European states plus Israel, Japan and Korea), in addition to Canada and the United States.
On this occasion, IDB President Moreno expressed his value for the non-regional cooperation resources that have increased for the region over the last 30 years. Since the IDB was founded, in 1959, as a partnership between 19 Latin American countries and the United States, the Bank has always sought to establish ties with countries outside the Americas, to enrich and share experiences as well as to attract and channel additional resources for development in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“The non-regional countries have clearly provided extraordinary support for our region. That support is not limited to financing, but has also taken the form of the exchange of experience and knowledge that is so important for our countries,” said Moreno.