BERLIN, Germany – Inter-American Development Bank president Ilan Goldfajn addressed on Wednesday Latin America and the Caribbean’s contribution to solving global challenges before the Bundestag’s Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development.
It was the first time a president of the IDB has addressed the Committee, underscoring the strategic role played by the IDB as a key conduit between the development needs of the region and Europe.
President Goldfajn highlighted the shared values between the IDB and Germany, including the rule of law and democracy, and laid out his vision for an IDB that is more innovative, focused on results, and an entity that convenes key stakeholders to work together to address climate change, food insecurity and other shared challenges. He urged public and private donors to join the IDB in helping achieve key priorities of helping address social issues, closing the region’s big gaps in sustainable physical and digital infrastructure, taking on climate mitigation and adaptation, protecting the Amazon, and promoting more regional integration.
The visit also included a series of meetings with top German government officials, reflecting Germany’s growing interest of Latin America and the Caribbean’s important role in helping bring about more sustainable development, and the IDB as a key strategic partner between Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean.
President Goldfajn met with Niels Annen, parliamentary state secretary to the federal minister for economic cooperation and development and IDB Governor; Jennifer Morgan, state secretary and special envoy for international climate action in the German Federal Foreign Office; Jörg Kukies, state secretary for economic, financial and climate policy, and European policy at the Chancellery; Heiko Thoms, state secretary responsible for European policy, international financial policy and financial market policy; and Stefan Wintels, chairman of the KfW Development Bank.
While the region needs financial support given fiscal restrictions and social needs, president Goldfajn underscored how a stronger Latin America can help the world on a more sustainable path and contribute to addressing global challenges – a key focus of his priorities for the IDB.
Germany was the first donor to the IDB’s Amazon Fund. Germany and the IDB cooperate on climate action, vocational training, green financial markets and gender equity.
He also underscored the cooperation between the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the IDB Group’s innovation laboratory, IDB Lab, to develop an online course to help policymakers regulate the gig economy.
During his visit, president Goldfajn also met with leaders from German private sector companies. He spoke about opportunities to scale up collaboration in renewables, digital and physical integration, and the Amazon, among others.
Already the world’s cleanest region in terms of energy generation, Latin America and the Caribbean absorbs one-quarter of all the CO2 absorbed by the entire planet. Pres. Goldfajn also noted how the region is home to two-thirds of the world’s lithium and 38 percent of its copper – crucial to the green transition. The region already produces enough food to feed 1.3 billion people and could multiply that to feed itself and the entire globe with the right reforms.
President Goldfajn also participated in a conversation about fiscal policies and income inequality organized by BMZ. His visit to Berlin came ahead of his participation in the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact in Paris on June 22 and 23.
Along with the Summit for New Global Financing Pact, the president’s visit marks a revamped relationship between the Latin American and Caribbean region and Europe.
Sharing democratic values and concern about the implications of the climate crisis, the two regions show strong alignment and increasing collaborations under a changing global context and search for more sustainable, green and just value chains.