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.

Acting smart when income grows

Thursday, March 27, 2008 - 03:00
The expansive economic cycle in Latin America rests largely on the rise of key commodity prices, but experience suggests caution in thriving years.

A slimmer bottle leads to fatter profits

Friday, June 1, 2007 - 03:00
Small business owner Miguel Maccagno sits in his factory office in the low-income neighborhood of Matanza outside Buenos Aires, examining identical-looking plastic bottles for the juice drinks his plant produces and pondering their impact on its competitiveness. By shaving 14 grams off the bottles' weight, he can lower costs enough for his firm, Agroindustrias Río Tercero, to compete with the large U.S., Brazilian and Chilean firms that have cornered the low end of the local market.

Latin America moves ahead despite external threats

Monday, October 31, 2005 - 03:00
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 training conundrum

Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 03:00
For small companies to compete against bigger ones, they must invest in human capital, says Félix Mitnik, coordinator of a project for supply chain development in Cordoba, Argentina, financed by the IDB's Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF). But the project, designed to increase the levels of productivity and competitiveness in small companies, revealed that they themselves invest little in training. Are they acting against their own interests then?

The double-edged sword of currency mismatches

Thursday, November 4, 2004 - 03:00
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.

Profile of the young Latin American entrepreneur

Monday, July 26, 2004 - 03:00
They belong to the middle class, have university degrees and on average begin to think about being entrepreneurs at 25, but they do not open their first company until about 5 years later. These are the characteristics that define the young Latin American entrepreneurs, according to a recent study by the Inter-American Development Bank that is the subject of the book Desarrollo Emprendedor (published in Spanish and available in English in the fall).

It’s bigger than we thought

Thursday, February 19, 2004 - 03:00
Agriculture’s performance and its contribution to economic development has traditionally been undervalued, according to a recent study commissioned by the Inter-Agency Working Group for Rural Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. As measured by Agricultural Gross Domestic Product, agriculture only includes information about the sale of raw materials, mainly crops and livestock. Its upstream and downstream linkages with agroindustry, services and trade, are not considered, nor the value added generated by these linkages throughout the economy.