Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Secretary Yellen Highlights Commitment to Regional Growth at IDB Responsible Investment Forum

Washington, DC – In a speech delivered at the Inter-American Development Bank Responsible Investment Forum, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen expressed the United States’ unwavering commitment to fostering economic prosperity, collaboration, and sustainable growth in the Americas. Secretary Yellen commended the IDB Group for hosting the Forum and underscored the significance of the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity (APEP) as a critical platform for regional development and cooperation.
Secretary Yellen began by acknowledging the strong bonds that unite the 12 countries within APEP, emphasizing that their shared commitments to democracy, common values, and the pursuit of inclusive and resilient growth are essential to the region’s success. APEP, she explained, serves as a critical vehicle for deepening economic integration, enhancing regional competitiveness, promoting private sector investment, and nurturing inclusive and sustainable development.

One notable area of collaboration that Secretary Yellen highlighted is the endeavor to diversify supply chains, an initiative she referred to as “friendshoring.” The United States, in partnership with trusted allies in the region, aims to broaden supply chain networks, creating opportunities for Latin America and the Caribbean to fuel economic growth. This diversification can yield benefits in increased trade and innovation across various sectors, from clean energy and medical supplies to semiconductors.

Latin American and Caribbean businesses, already vital partners in producing solar and wind technologies, are poised to expand their role in emerging sectors. For instance, locally extracted lithium can be used for battery production in clean energy, and the region’s skilled workforce can scale up semiconductor production, including the chips necessary for electric vehicles.

Secretary Yellen announced the United States’ commitment to work closely with the IDB to support supply chain integration efforts in the region. This collaboration will entail providing low-cost financing, sharing knowledge, upskilling workers, and engaging stakeholders from various sectors to identify and address bottlenecks, thereby strengthening the region’s competitiveness in priority sectors.

For these endeavors and many other shared priorities, Secretary Yellen praised the IDB Group’s pivotal role as the largest source of development finance for the Latin America and Caribbean region. She emphasized that the IDB Group plays a vital role in creating the conditions necessary for private sector-led growth to flourish, ultimately leading to increased opportunity, job creation, and improved economic well-being.

Furthermore, Secretary Yellen reaffirmed the Biden-Harris Administration’s dedication to working with the IDB Group under the exemplary leadership of President Ilan Goldfajn. As the IDB’s largest shareholder, the United States has been at the forefront of advocating for ambitious systemic and structural reforms that will enable the IDB Group to address regional and global challenges better. The goal is to make investments that are high-quality, competitive, and produce tangible results.

Secretary Yellen also expressed the United States’ strong commitment to supporting an IDB Invest capital increase. Collaborating with fellow shareholders and Congress, the United States aims to bolster IDB Invest’s capacity to mobilize private capital to the region, including APEP members. The additional capital, a refreshed business model, new incentives, and financial products are expected to enhance IDB Invest’s effectiveness in promoting private sector-led, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth and development.
In conclusion, Secretary Yellen commended the IDB Group’s vision of being an engine for growth, change, and progress across Latin America and the Caribbean, reinforcing its pivotal role in achieving APEP’s objectives. She expressed confidence that the Forum would stimulate productive dialogues and lead to constructive steps toward regional integration and cooperation, ultimately fueling inclusive growth in the region.

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