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About the IDB

Background 

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is a multilateral financial institution created to help accelerate the economic growth and social development of its 26 borrowing Latin American and Caribbean countries. Twenty-two non-borrowing nations, including the United States, are also members of the IDB. To view the list of the 48 member countries, click here. Unlike the other development banks, the borrowing nations own the majority of the shares, and many of the IDB's activities are borrower-driven. The presence of IDB offices in each of the borrowing countries provides the institution with a distinct advantage in understanding its member countries and their challenges.

IDB Structure

The Bank provides public sector loans through its three operational departments:

  • Region 1-Southern Cone
  • Region 2-Mexico/Central America
  • Region 3-Andean/Caribbean

In addition, the Bank has a Private Sector Department (PRI) that is responsible for the development of private infrastructure projects. The IDB group also includes the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), which also promote private sector investment in the region. A more detailed description of these three entities is discussed later.

IDB Sectors

The sectors in which IDB finances projects include agriculture, industry, education, health, information technology and communications, water and sanitation, transportation, environment, modernization of the state, social investment and urban development. For a full list of the IDB's sectors and related news, projects, and events, click here and select your topic of interest.

IDB Lending and U.S. Firms

The IDB lends $8-10 billion annually. Overall funding for each year generates hundreds of contracts for U.S. companies to provide a wide range of goods, equipment, services and expertise. Export opportunities for U.S. firms vary from a few thousand dollars to several million dollars.

IDB and the U.S. Commercial Service

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Liaison to the IDB is an official part of the U.S. Executive Director’s office of the IDB. The U.S. Commercial Service’s Advocacy Center manages the Department of Commerce representatives to the IDB. These representatives provide support and assistance to U.S. firms in three primary areas:

  • Information for U.S. firms about the opportunities created by IDB projects and how to access these opportunities.
  • Business facilitation services, including one-on-one counseling, strategic planning, information gathering for specific needs, and contact and meeting planning for qualified firms.
  • Advocacy support to U.S. firms who have problems with IDB projects, including guidance on the protest process, assistance with payment issues, and direct and indirect advocacy with regard to specific problems or procurement issues.

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