European Commission participates in IDB Annual Meetings and visits sargassum project during mission to the Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic
March 20, 2024

IDB and IDB Invest held their Annual Meetings in the Dominican Republic from 6 to 10 March 2024. During the three initial days, the 48 member countries and other stakeholders engaged in discussions concerning development challenges and opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean. These fora brought together finance and economy ministers, presidents of central banks and other high-level authorities and revolved around how to enhance IDB's Group role amidst escalating social demands, fiscal constraints, and the imperative to bolster financing for the green transition. Seminars and meetings with civil society and the private sector encompassed topics such as financial innovation to address climate change, equitable and sustainable growth, poverty reduction and inequalities. The Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of IDB and IDB Invest took place the two following days. These gatherings served as an occasion to adopt the new IDB Group Institutional Strategy for 2024-2030 and to announce a USD 3.5 billion capital increase for IDB Invest and the allocation of USD 400 million for IDB Lab.

The new IDB strategy underlines the importance of strengthening synergies across the IDB Group and working in close cooperation with partners and allies as part of an integrated system. IDB President Ilan Goldfajn presented the IDB priorities in his speech at the opening session, which are aligned with the EU’s Global Gateway. In the course of this fruitful week, the European Commission had the opportunity to discuss investment opportunities with IDB officials in sectors deemed as a priority in both IDB's strategy and the EU-LAC Global Gateway Investment Agenda such as renewable energy, critical raw materials, digital, sustainable mobility, sargassum and innovative financing.

During the mission to the Dominican Republic, the European Commission also had the chance to learn first-hand about the pressing challenge of the spread of sargassum across the Greater Caribbean region, which requires a strategic public policy approach, regional coordination, and public-private partnerships. The team visited the operational site of a start-up company which uses technological advancements to collect sargassum while generating employment for local communities. Staff from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank discussed possible solutions in terms of coordination, financing, and capacity to solve the pressure that the sargassum crisis represents for Caribbean countries.