IDB - Inter-American Development Bank

03/02/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/02/2024 12:58

IDB Group Presents Projects in Chile to US Treasury Secretary

  • United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met with IDB Group authorities to learn about projects in the Antofagasta Region.

The Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB Group) presented sustainable infrastructure and innovation projects in Chile's Antofagasta Region to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during her visit to the country to deepen bilateral economic relations between the United States and Chile.

At the meeting, she highlighted Chile's contribution to the green transition, including its internal policies to encourage renewable energy, its role as a supplier of critical minerals and its role in the region's integration. "I am glad that your efforts are being supported by IDB Lab, where the U.S. is proud to be the second largest donor. I'd like to thank Irene Arias Hofman, IDB Lab's CEO, for joining us today and for her leadership. IDB Lab has evolved into a key innovation and venture hub that supports entrepreneurs throughout the region, with a specific emphasis on empowering poor and vulnerable populations. This is crucial work.

And it's part of the Inter-American Development Bank's broader work. The United States is proud to have joined with Chile and other IDB members to negotiate a capital increase for IDB Invest and advance a reform agenda at the Bank. Set to be approved by Bank Governors next week, one core objective is to increase the IDB Group's focus on financing the green transition," said Secretary Yellen.

IDB Group experts highlighted the progress made in the Capricorn Bioceanic Corridor, and the possibility of investing in enabling infrastructure for the energy transition. The Capricorn Corridor has the potential to improve regional connectivity by activating strategic exchange between countries to advance the energy transition, as the corridor would activate key chains for the transition, such as the lithium chain. The IDB group has been supporting the different countries that are part of the corridor to enable their infrastructure in a sustainable, transparent and environmentally friendly way.

IDB Group supports energy projects

The IDB has accompanied Chile in its energy transition and decarbonization process, with technical assistance and financing, including the modernization of the regulatory framework of the distribution segment, regulations and policies to achieve the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, and the launch of new technologies such as energy storage or green hydrogen.

Additionally, the IDB is supporting the National Mining Policy 2050, which seeks to adapt the form of production and impact mitigation, implementing measures such as creating new jobs in small and medium-sized companies, with an inclusive approach.

On the private-sector side, IDB Invest is coordinating with relevant investors from Europe and the United States. "In particular, Antofagasta has become a pole in the generation of solar and wind energy, with the installation of 20% of the country's capacity. Among the projects carried out are the financing of renewable energy facilities, and the implementation of financial instruments to promote decarbonization, which is part of the IDB Group's support for Chile to achieve the zero emissions goals to which it has committed," said Florencia Attademo-Hirt, General Manager of the Southern Cone Countries Department and IDB Group Representative in Chile.

IDB Lab and Aster

Another of the projects presented was IDB Lab's work with Aster, the leading startup accelerator in northern Chile. This initiative will carry out two annual virtual calls over the next three years to select cohorts of 10 early-stage companies that will receive personalized support, access to expert networks and connections with strategic partners. The initiative seeks the development of technological entrepreneurship by promoting the comparative advantages offered by this region for the creation of new solutions based on innovation and technology.

The Chilean Minister of Finance, Mario Marcel, recalled that the government is interested in promoting productive diversification, and these types of laboratories converge towards this objective. "Knowing these ventures and visualizing the challenges of the industries and citizens of the region, these types of projects are truly important to generate confidence in what can be achieved in this region. They also constitute a challenge for us because when start-ups want to grow, they need the support of public policies to find new markets," said Marcel, who was accompanied by the coordinators of International Finance and Microeconomics of the Ministry of Finance, Carola Moreno and Pilar Cruz, respectively.

Chile, and especially the Antofagasta mining region, is a world leader in copper reserves and production, and plays a crucial role in the growing lithium industry, key to the development of electromobility. Aster's ability to identify and support climate innovations will be reinforced with its participation in the LAC ClimAccelerator program, of Climate-KIC and IDB Lab, benefiting from technical assistance.