Business & Economy

Global development banks gather in bid to close financial disparities

Cartagena, Colombia, Sept 4 (EFE).- The Common Finance Summit (FiCS), the world’s largest gathering of development banks, kicked off its fourth edition on Monday in the Colombian port city of Cartagena with a call to move from talk to action in bridging global disparities.

Ilan Goldfajn, president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), stated during the event’s opening that there was much to achieve regarding sustainable development goals, making a “call to action, not just to talk but to walk the talk.”

“The needs are in the trillions of dollars, and that’s what our banks have: trillions. To move from billions to trillions, we need to partner up,” Goldfajn said at the Cartagena Convention Center.

The opening session, moderated by Financial Times journalist Michael Scott, also featured presentations from Javier Díaz, president of Colombia’s Business Development Bank (Bancoldex); Werner Hoyer, president of the European Investment Bank (EIB); and executive directors of the French Development Agency, Remy Rioux, and the Development Bank of South Africa, Boitumelo Mosako.


According to Goldfajn, development banks play a “very special role” in which they won’t replace the private sector but rather fill in the gaps.

“Banks will anchor positions, projects, and then private capital can come in,” he noted, adding that in terms of innovation, they will address how to mobilize the private sector to close these gaps.

All of this in a context where “disasters are becoming quite frequent, and we need to be resilient to absorb shocks in the region.”

Discussing Cartagena, Díaz pointed out, “This region, which many are visiting for the first time, is no exception; the bay where this city lies is greatly threatened.” He added that to face such challenges, “we have knowledge and capabilities we couldn’t have imagined at the beginning of this century.”

Moreover, Bancoldex’s president stressed the need to accelerate the pace at which sustainable development goals are met, noting that “progress isn’t very good.”


Rioux stressed that this meeting was a significant opportunity to transform the way these institutions operate “to be more effective.”

The summit brings together leading international, national development banks, and multilateral agencies to discuss, among other things, how they can collaborate to bridge the financing gap.

According to IDB data, to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement’s temperature and adaptation objectives, global investments between $3.3 trillion and $4.5 trillion more than current investments would be required.

Hoyer said he believed that development banks should “work with the support of the private sector.”

“Often in development banks, we think about how to redistribute public money, but that’s not the primary role. The main goal is to connect interesting projects with the private sector to truly make a difference,” he said. EFE



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