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Priorities and challenges for Latin America and the Caribbean: a panel discussion with IDB President Ilan Goldfajn

March 1, 2023

About the event

Over the 70 years since the creation of the World Bank, multilateral development banks (MDBs) have played a crucial role in supporting economic development and fighting poverty.

In 2022, the finances and policies of MDBs regained centre stage in the debates on financing for development. The scale and length of the Covid-19 pandemic – not to mention the ongoing pressure to contain the climate crisis – are stark reminders that global challenges need global solutions and coordination.

Although MDBs are perceived to be in a privileged position to work on these issues, shareholders and civil society organisations argue they can do more by expanding their lending capacity, increasing their effectiveness when addressing global challenges, and coordinating better as a system.

In this hybrid event, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President Ilan Goldfajn leads a panel discussion outlining the bank’s priorities as well as his vision for the IDB’s role in MDB reform.

The panel reflect on two sets of policy issues:

– The challenges for Latin America and the Caribbean generated or intensified by the polycrisis, which of these the IDB should prioritise in its operations, and how it can respond to them.

– The role of the IDB in the system of MDBs and its priorities within the MDB reform agenda.

Running order

00:00 Sara Pantuliano (ODI) – opens event and introduces speakers.

05:36 Ilan Goldfajn ( Inter-American Development Bank) – what are the most critical inter-related challenges faced by Latin American and Caribbean countries, and how should the IDB respond to them?

20:32 Ilan Goldfajn – what’s the role of the IDB in the context of the MDB reform agenda? What has IDB contributed recently to this agenda?

26:02 Amal-Lee Amin (British International Investment) – do you agree with the priorities of the IDB, especially in the context of climate change? What else can the IDB and other institutions can do to encourage sustainability?

34:08 Vanessa Rubio-Márquez (London School of Economics) – what do you see the role of the IDB being in the systems of the MDBs? Structural change and pragmatic reform.

42:00 Hans Peter Lankes (ODI) – review of the capital adequacy framework. Pragmatic recommendations and what they mean for the lending potential of MDBs.

50:43 Annalisa Prizzon (ODI) – survey of government officials, their views on the future role of the IDB.

54:13 Sara Pantuliano – Sara opens up to questions by the audience.

59:40 Ilan Goldfajn – what can the IDB offer to the MDB system to ensure they are more than just the sum of their parts?

1:05:30 Ilan Goldfajn – hybrid capital proposal with FADB, engaged in further MDB rechannelling efforts for SDRs and support of other IMF members.

1:06:30 Ilan Goldfajn – potential tensions the IDB may face? Regional disagreements such as between borrowers and non-borrowers inevitable, role of the IDB is to bring moderation.

1:08:10 Hans Peter Lankes – where does improving governance sit in the IDB priorities and in the reform agenda on MDBs, who’s pushing that and is it a priority?

1:12:52 Amal-Lee Amin – fundamental issues to address to encourage standardisation and transparency to help manage risk globally.

1:14:09 Vanessa Rubio-Márquez – increase in sub-regional projects and catastrophe funds to better manage crisis.

1:14:57 Annalisa Prizzon – greater incentives from shareholders.

1:15:10 Sara Pantuliano – final comment, can the IDB create an entity similar to the Paris club? The IDB dealing with this unprecedented polycrisis era so change is needed.