>@Mercedes Landete/EIB
©Mercedes Landete/EIB
  • President of the Republic of Colombia Iván Duque Márquez met with the EIB President and Vice-President to sign the host country agreement
  • The EU is the principal development investor in the region
  • The EIB has provided over EUR 8.4bn to promote economic and social development in Latin America

European Investment Bank (EIB) President Werner Hoyer and Vice-President Emma Navarro are currently visiting Colombia, which is set to host the EU Bank's Latin American office. To this end, President of the Republic of Colombia Iván Duque Márquez and EIB President Werner Hoyer signed today in the Palacio de Nariño the host country agreement enabling Bogotá to host this new EU representation. The EIB's new regional office will be the Bank's first in Central and South America and will help it to strengthen its presence and expand its activities in the region.

EIB President Werner Hoyer said: “Latin America is one of the key priorities of the EIB's activity outside the EU. In the 26 years that the EIB has been working in the region, we have provided over EUR 8.4bn to support projects that improve people's lives, create jobs and infrastructure, and drive sustainable economic growth. We don't just want to continue doing this, we want to do more. This is why we are so grateful for Colombia's hospitality, and why we wish to reaffirm our commitment to Latin America.” 

For EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro, responsible for the Bank´s activity in Latin America, “EIB’s office in Bogotá will allow us to do more to drive sustainable and inclusive development in the region, promoting key infrastructure both for social and economic development and for climate action. To achieve this objective, we are very happy to have Colombia as host country. Here, the EIB is financing the construction of Bogotá's first metro line and we want to continue contributing to the peace process with our investments, by financing projects in the areas most affected by the conflict.”

In addition to the meeting with President Iván Duque Márquez, Werner Hoyer and Emma Navarro took advantage of their visit to Bogotá to meet with the Colombian Minister of Finance and Public Credit, Alberto Carrasquilla, and Presidential Counselor for Stabilization and Consolidation, Emilio Archila.

Support for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects

The EIB is the world’s largest multilateral provider of financing for climate action projects. Promoting climate action is also one of the Bank’s priorities in Latin America. In order to step up efforts towards this objective, EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro signed today the ratification of the agreement with MGM Sustainable Energy Fund II, providing EUR 25m to this private equity fund investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.

With the EIB support, MGM’s Fund II will be able to assist up to 50 projects to renovate and adapt facilities in sectors such as education, hospitality and commerce, cutting their energy consumption and making them more efficient. Another part of the fund will be used to promote renewable energies by facilitating investments in small hydroelectric, photovoltaic energy and biomass installations. Taken together, it is calculated that all the investments, which will be carried out over the whole region covered by the fund, will lead the creation of over 2 200 jobs during the implementation phase. They will also contribute to more than 200 GWh of energy savings per year and to generate almost 450 GWh of renewable electricity generation per year.

EU: Latin America's main investment partner

The European Union is the main partner for the development of the Latin America region, its number one investor and second biggest trade partner. The EIB is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy objectives.

The EIB provides economic support for projects in Latin America by offering both long-term investment with favourable conditions and the technical support needed to ensure that these projects deliver positive social, economic and environmental results. Since the EIB began operating in the region in 1993, it has provided total financing of over EUR 8.4bn to support around 120 projects in 14 countries. This includes Colombia, where the EIB is supporting the construction of Bogotá's first metro line by providing EUR 400m.

In 2018, the EU bank expanded its contribution to sustainable development and climate action in Latin America, providing EUR 639m for the development of 15 projects. This constitutes a record for the number of operations supported by the Bank in the region in a single year. The aim of these projects is to foster sustainable growth and climate action.