EU – LAC Business and Political Leaders hail new era of partnership through enhanced investment and cooperation

July 16, 2023

As part of the EU-CELAC Summit, the European Commission, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean (CAF) hosted the European Union (EU) – Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Business Roundtable. Bringing together high level political and business leaders, participants discussed the EU-LAC Global Gateway Investment Agenda (GGIA). 

The Investment Agenda is the roadmap of strategic priorities that the EU has chosen to invest in with its Latin American and Caribbean partners, powering the new EU-LAC partnership, as well as the fair green and digital transitions.

European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: “In order to build a future that works for people and planet, the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean are driving progress together. In partnering towards this goal, the cooperation, solutions and expertise our businesses provide are essential. At today’s roundtable, and under the Global Gateway Investment Agenda, I am proud to see how we will advance the fair green and digital transitions through supporting renewable energies, critical raw materials and e-mobility, 5G and connectivity, inclusion, education and skills, health and sustainable finance.”

President of IDB, Ilan Goldfajn, said: “The European Union’s New Agenda for Latin America and the Caribbean comes as our region is developing in areas that are critical to the entire planet’s future. Latin America is now perfectly positioned to be part of the solution to the world’s biggest challenges, including climate change, food insecurity and biodiversity protection. By working closer together, our regions’ public and private sectors can make this opportunity a reality.”

Executive President of CAF, Sergio Diaz-Granados, said: "As one of the world's leading drivers of development, the EU is a key ally for Latin America and the Caribbean, which is moving to establish itself as a region of solutions, especially in areas such as climate change, green transition, digital transformation, biodiversity and food security. We need to promote a new partnership to boost public and private investments in key development sectors, to advance the 2030 Agenda and to overcome the historical gaps that the region faces in education, poverty, health and inequality.”

Companies from both the EU and LAC play a pivotal role in creating strong public-private partnerships that can implement the EU’s Global Gateway investment agenda. The Commission, along with the IDB and CAF, the main development financial institutions in the LAC region, with a total lending in 2022 of € 35.5 billion (€ 21.7 billion and € 13.8 billion respectively), hosted this event to align those efforts.

To bridge the global investment gap and contribute towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Global Gateway utilises public funding, including Official Development Assistance (ODA), to catalyse a boost in public and private investments.. The LAC region will benefit from €10.5 billion from the EU budget, with EU Member States and private sector investments also making significant contributions in the future.

Under Global Gateway, the EU’s investment strategy to deliver sustainable infrastructure connections with partner countries, the roundtable aimed to boost investment in key sectors to drive the green, digital and just transitions. In the LAC region, the Global Gateway Investment Agenda includes over 130 projects.

As 'Team Europe', the EU, its Member States, development finance institutions (including the EIB), and export credit agencies will pool resources and collaborate for an increased impact.

The main conclusions from the business roundtable were shared with the EU-CELAC Summit of heads of state and government.