The executive president of the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), the Colombian Sergio Díaz-Granados, announced on Wednesday that his priority at the head of the institution will be to promote the economic and social reactivation of Latin Americans.
This he said at a ceremony marking the beginning of his term in office, held at the Casa de Nariño in Bogotá, where he was accompanied by Colombian President Iván Duque, who promoted his candidacy for the post.
The executive said that economies have begun to recover lost ground and that given this reality, "the work of development actions is more urgent, hence working towards economic recovery, improving social indicators, is the first objective to set the course of this institution in the period that begins today and until 2026".
According to Díaz-Granados, the most recent figures give hope that the worst is behind us, but he assured that "it would be a mistake" to think that the danger has ceased and that we can lower our guard against the coronavirus pandemic, which he said "will only be definitively defeated when vaccination coverage is, at least, universal".
He recalled that CAF's founders had always thought that the bank could help push private initiatives and entrepreneurship.
"We want to support the creation of employment opportunities and progress hand in hand with companies and with a spirit of entrepreneurship that expands throughout the region," he said.
Díaz-Granados also said he would work to turn the institution into the green bank of Latin America, playing a catalytic role in attracting investment to the region by boosting sustainable growth and the circular economy, with increased financing for projects in environmental, forestry, water, climate, waste management, energy efficiency and sustainable agriculture.
He also recalled that CAF is one of the main sources of multilateral financing for the region, with annual approvals exceeding 14 billion dollars for development and regional integration.
Since the beginning of its operations in 1970, the institution has approved more than 200 billion dollars to improve the quality of life of Latin Americans.
"Our institution is the most valuable asset in the field of regional integration, something that obliges me to assume this responsibility with the purpose of increasing such a fundamental collective patrimony, so that we can be increasingly effective in the search for the well-being of our peoples," he said.
He added that other challenges for CAF are to consolidate and strengthen the relationship with member countries and to invite new partners to join in Latin American development.
CAF - formerly Corporación Andina de Fomento - founded in 1968, is a development bank focused on improving the well-being of the people of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as boosting economic growth in the countries of the region.
It is made up of 19 shareholder countries (17 from Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Spain and Portugal) and promotes regional integration and the insertion of Latin America and the Caribbean in the world.