CAF closed 2023 with a record of USD 16.201 million in approvals

January 02, 2024

In 2023, CAF consolidated itself as the leading multilateral organization for sustainability and inclusive growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, and continued to raise the voice of the region in major global forums. For example, CAF organized the first meeting of ministers of Economy and Finance from the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean, and brought the first pavilion dedicated exclusively to the region to COP28. In addition, in 2023 CAF added new member countries (Chile, the Dominican Republic, and Honduras) that deepen its integrationist dimension. In 2023, CAF changed its name to "Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean," a sign of the expansion process in which the institution is involved.

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CAF - Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean - closed 2023 with the approval of USD 16.201 million, a record number that demonstrates its commitment to sustainability and inclusive growth in the region. The resources were allocated to initiatives in early childhood, health, education, gender equity, social inclusion, energy infrastructure, transportation, telecommunications, water and sanitation, environment, and climate change.

Regional integration, a pillar of CAF's mission, was one of the protagonists of the year. For the first time in history, the 60 ministers of economy and finance of the European Union (EU) and Latin America and the Caribbean met in Santiago de Compostela to boost trade, economic, financial, and cooperation relations between two blocks essential for global sustainability. Organized by the Government of Spain and CAF, the meeting reaffirmed the investment agenda of 45.000 million euros, announced in July at the EU-CELAC Business Summit, held in Brussels.

In addition, CAF promoted the "Routes for Integration" initiative together with BNDES, the IDB, and FONPLATA, a program that aims to mobilize USD 10,000 million for infrastructure projects that facilitate trade and services between South American countries.

It is also worth noting that more than one third of the bank's sovereign approvals in the year were allocated to projects with a regional integration component.

As part of its strategy to consolidate itself as the green bank of the region, CAF brought the first pavilion dedicated to Latin America and the Caribbean to COP28, which promoted common positions on issues such as food security, energy transition, biodiversity protection, or natural disaster management. In this scenario, CAF announced that it will invest USD 15,000 million in adaptation and natural disaster risk management; and USD 2,000 million to protect the Amazon; among other important initiatives and alliances. With more than 50 events, 1,000 visitors, and the participation of renowned global climate change experts, the pavilion of Latin America and the Caribbean at COP28 became the center of Latin American debates on climate action.

These are examples of the progress of CAF's corporate strategy with a view to 2026 to be the green bank and of sustainable and inclusive growth, which also contemplates allocating USD 25,000 million for green projects; USD 4,000 million for water security projects; and USD 1,250 million to protect the oceans; among others.

In 2023, we made considerable progress in our goal of positioning Latin America and the Caribbean as a region of solutions to address the great global challenges, such as the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, or the migration and food crises. These efforts make us the green bank and the bank of sustainable and inclusive growth through new environmental solutions, the strengthening of regional integration, work with regional and local governments, the promotion of the private sector in development issues, and the consolidation of strategic alliances to improve the quality of life of our people, affirmed Sergio Díaz-Granados, CAF's executive president.

The incorporation of Chile, the Dominican Republic, and Honduras as member countries was another milestone for CAF in its strategy to expand its presence in the region. Likewise, during the 50th anniversary summit of CARICOM, held in July 2023 in Port of Spain, CAF unveiled its new descriptor: "Bank of Development of Latin America and the Caribbean," which marks its expansion process to the Caribbean countries. In this sense, the bank announced the opening of a new office in Barbados, which joins the Regional Management for the Caribbean in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as support for initiatives such as the Blue Green Bank, the coalition of multilateral banks led by the Government of Barbados to develop resilient infrastructure and promote new investments in social and natural capital.

CAF's satisfactory performance was endorsed by the credit rating agencies, reaching its highest ratings in history from all agencies in 2023. During the year, S&P Global raised CAF's long-term rating to AA, from AA-, with a stable outlook; Fitch Ratings improved the long-term rating to AA-, with a stable outlook, from A+. In turn, Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) affirmed the long-term rating at Aa3, with a stable outlook; while Japan Credit Ratings Agency (JCR) maintained CAF's long-term rating at AA+.

Investors also gave their vote of confidence with the demand for over 40 bond issues in various international markets in 15 different currencies, reaching for the first time a total approximate amount of USD 6.250 million. The bond issued in October in the American market for USD 1.750 million represents the largest issuance of CAF in its history in the capital markets, at the same time that it also achieved the highest historical demand, for an amount more than USD 3.400 million. In Latin America, various transactions were carried out, highlighting the inaugural emissions in Costa Rica and Paraguay, supporting the development of the region's capital markets.

The year 2023 was the year of the consolidation of the Biodivercities network promoted by CAF, which already has 179 municipalities in Latin America and the Caribbean that are committed to promoting sustainable local development, in balance with nature and focused on green infrastructure, water resource management, and the preservation of urban ecosystems.

The return of the CAF Caracas Marathon, the party for regional integration, which brought together more than 5,000 runners from Venezuela and more than 20 countries, was another milestone in terms of sport and culture. In the seventh edition of this competition, which was also the Pan American Marathon Championship, records were broken in both the 42K and 21K modalities by Brazilians, Colombians, and Venezuelans.