A capital challenge in Haiti

Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 03:00
Until February 2011, Jean-Claude Seropian, a French hydraulic engineer, worked in Paris as director of operations of Suez Environnement, one of the world’s leading water and waste management companies. That month he moved to Haiti as head of a team of five technical, financial and management experts from Suez and two sister companies, Aguas de Barcelona and United Water. Their mission: to work with the staff of Port-au-Prince’s ailing water utility to arrest the decline of its services.

The IDB, a partner of Colombia in development

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 03:00
Since the mid-1990s the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has been the leading source of multilateral financing for Colombia. Over the last 50 years, the IDB has approved more than US$14.8 billion in loans and non-refundable technical cooperation projects for Colombia. Throughout its history, the IDB has supported the Colombian government and private sector in key development areas such as infrastructure, state modernization and reform, small and medium enterprise, agriculture, energy, climate change and environmental protection.

Venture capital for low-income markets

Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 03:00
Investing in housing, healthcare, education, basic utilities and nutrition can not only fulfill a social mission, but it can also be a profitable business venture. This is the concept of IGNIA Fund, which will channel venture capital resources to fund commercially viable growth companies serving the “base of the pyramid,” those persons in Latin America and the Caribbean earning less than $3,260 a year. The IGNIA Fund selects projects with the potential to be expanded on a larger scale, thereby increasing the social and economic impact.

More growth or less inequality?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 03:00
Increased investment, low inflation, an improved fiscal situation, decreased unemployment. Latin America and the Caribbean have been hearing plenty of good news the past 18 months. A group of renowned economists analyzed the situation at a seminar hosted by the IDB Research Department to honor IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias, who will retire on September 30. Iglesias himself opened the seminar, which was chaired by IDB Chief Economist Guillermo Calvo, with the participation of Ricardo Hausmann, Michael Mussa, José Antonio Ocampo and John Williamson.

Andean integration: Myths or realities?

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 03:00
While three of the five Andean countries—Colombia, Ecuador and Peru—are participating actively in the free trade agreement negotiations to promote commerce and investment between the United States and the Andean Community, the recent celebration of the Ninth Annual Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF) Conference served to reflect on the differences within the subregion and the positions held by the two other Andean countries, which abstained from taking part in the negotiations. Bolivia plays only the role of an observer, while Venezuela is skeptical of the proposed model.

Basel II standards tailored to microfinance

Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 03:00
Once Basel II, an international agreement on banking regulation and supervision, is implemented, financial institutions in the signatory countries will have to increase their minimum capital requirements. Although many microfinance institutions are unregulated and therefore not required to meet any standards, banks and other financial institutions that provide microfinance may eventually have to operate under a regulatory system that includes the Basel II standards.

When good intentions bring bad results

Friday, March 18, 2005 - 03:00
Many subsidies aimed at helping the underprivileged benefit the rich instead of the poor, according to professor Ramon Lopez from the University of Maryland's Agricultural and Resource Economics Department. And he has 15 years of empirical data in 10 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to prove it. According to his study, presented at IDB headquarters, some 45 percent of rural public expenditure in the region between 1985 and 2000 was spent on non-social subsidies, imposing a dramatic cost in efficiency, social equity and environmental decay in rural areas.