Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank - IDB - began their fifteenth annual; meeting in the Chilean capital, Santiago on Monday (1 April).
Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank - IDB - began their fifteenth annual; meeting in the Chilean capital, Santiago on Monday (1 April). The conference was officially opened by the President of the Chilean military junta, General August Pinechet.
Venezuela, which is enjoying an unprecedented boom from its oil exports is expected to play an important role at the conference. Up until now, the United States has dominated IDB meetings and most of its policies.
In his inauguration speech earlier this month, Venezuela's President, Carlos Andrew Perez said he would use part of the country's oil wealth to set up a special development fund to aid its Latin American neighbors. The fund is to be channeled through the IDB.
Thirteen-hundred delegates and observers are attending the conference, representing the 24 member countries. Japan and some Western European countries are currently seeking membership. On the first day of the conference, Bank President Antonio Ortiz Mena announced grant loans worth $3,3000 million (GPB1,430 million) for development projects in Latin America over a three year period. Dr. Ortiz said agricultural development and the harnessing of energy resources would be the Bank's top priorities in the coming years. A loan of $22 million (GPB10 million) to Chile was announced by the Bank on the eve of the conference. It is for agricultural improvement projects, and is the first loan to be made to Chile since mid-1971.