Nearshore Americas
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IDB Seeks Stronger Presence of US Firms in LATAM to Counter Chinese Influence

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) unveiled a plan to attract US private sector investment in Latin America as part of an apparent bid to reduce Chinese influence in the region.

The IDB, which is the largest multilateral lender in Latin America, will launch three mobile apps to help US companies connect with potential partners and projects in the region. The apps will provide information on IDB-financed projects, as well as a directory of potential suppliers and partners.

The IDB will also facilitate meetings between US companies and their counterparts in Latin America. The goal is to help US companies win more contracts in the region and to reduce the dominance of Chinese companies in the infrastructure sector.

Most of these large projects will focus on areas such as energy, water, digital infrastructure and healthcare. Therefore, the lender has prioritized engaging US manufacturers, software vendors and business consultants.

American companies have a long history of bidding for public sector contracts in Latin America, but they have mostly been involved in smaller projects.

Their success rate is high, however, winning an average of 60% of the projects they bid for. On average, contracts awarded to US companies in the region reach the US$285,000 mark. Firms from Spain, in comparisson, achieve contracts which average US$4.7 million.

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The IDB is the main source of credit for 28 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the past year alone, it committed to lending more than US$23 billion.

The United States, with a 30% voting share, wields considerable influence in the bank.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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