IDB seminars in Medellín to discuss impacts of global financial crisis

March 23, 2009
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is promoting the discussion and analysis of the impacts of the global financial crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean during seminars in Medellín, Colombia, related to the 50th Annual Meeting of the Bank'sBoard of Governors. The discussions will feature government leaders such as Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, Zhou Xiaochuan and governor of the People’s Bank of China, as well as noted experts such as Robert Merton, a Nobel Prize-winner economist.

The IDB, a partner of Colombia in development

March 17, 2009
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

February 26, 2009
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.

A hand up for small and medium-sized businesses in Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic

January 26, 2007
The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, will launch FINPYME (Financiación Innovadora de PYME), an innovative program for financing small and medium-size companies, in five Central American countries, Panama, and the Dominican Republic starting February 1. The initiative seeks to improve access to financing for smaller companies

A home-grown solution for Latin America’s water crisis

March 01, 2006
By Luis Alberto Moreno*As delegates gathered at the IV World Water Forum in Mexico City earlier this month, many were asking whether the private sector still has a role to play in solving the critical sanitation problems of the developing world.

Latin America moves ahead despite external threats

October 31, 2005
Many fear the possibility of interest rate hikes and a global recession if the “Chinese addiction” to buying dollars comes to an end, expressed the IDB Chief Economist, Guillermo Calvo. But the seven largest economies in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, also known as the LAC-7) are currently growing fast. Stock prices went up 174% in the past two years, bank credit and foreign investment are increasing, and commodity prices have also enjoyed a boost.

The double-edged sword of currency mismatches

November 04, 2004
Doing business in dollars has proved to be risky many times over in Latin America. When the price of the dollar goes up, local exporting companies increase their income and therefore try to export more. But that same exchange rate depreciation spells trouble to all companies indebted in dollars, and big trouble to the ones who owe money in dollars and have income in local currency.

Service worth the price

September 01, 2004
By Paul Constance, Puerto Cortés“He transformed a malodorous swamp into a modern and progressive city.” That’s how a leading Honduran daily recently summed up the political legacy of Marlon Lara, a young mayor who has run the Caribbean city of Puerto Cortés since 1994. But while “malodorous swamp” might be a metaphor for any number of social ills, the newspaper was referring, literally, to water and sanitation projects that became the hallmark of Lara’s administration.

Glass half full

July 01, 2004
By Paul Constance, San Pedro Sula, HondurasDepending on whom you ask, San Pedro Sula’s water system is either a remarkable success or a cautionary tale. The basic facts are not in dispute. Between 1999 and 2003, the number of homes with residential water service in San Pedro Sula increased from 84 percent to 93 percent, thanks to the installation of 13,600 new connections. The proportion of tap water receiving proper sanitary treatment rose from 22 percent to 80 percent. Water pressure and continuity increased throughout the system.

The multinational effect

January 21, 2004
Many people make the quick assumption that multinational firms’ investment is linked with negative economic effects in the host country, or reject the hypothesis that foreign direct investment accelerates productivity growth in domestic firms.