Inter-American Development Bank Approves Increased Canadian Contribution

(No. 216 - August 6, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today welcomed the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) approval of Canada’s proposal to temporarily increase the country’s callable capital at the Bank by US$4 billion to support economic, social and institutional development in the Americas. The approval was also greeted warmly by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and by the Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas).

"Canada’s increased contribution to the Inter-American Development Bank will open up new opportunities to promote regional economic growth," said Minister Cannon, who serves as Canada’s Governor to the Bank. "It gives the Bank more flexibility in addressing the effects of the global financial crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean. This initiative is one more example of Canada’s engagement in the Americas."

"Throughout the global crisis, Canada’s financial system has remained strong, but that will be of small consolation unless liquidity is fully restored to credit markets in the Americas and around the world,” said Minister Flaherty. “This substantial boost by Canada, the first of its kind for the IDB, will mean more opportunities for businesses in the region struggling to find financing."

"This initiative demonstrates Canada’s commitment to the Bank as an important regional institution and a valued partner for our engagement in the Americas,” said Minister of State Kent.

Canada’s IDB increase was first announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Summit of the Americas in April. It will increase the Bank’s lending capacity by as much as 45 percent over the coming year.

As the oldest and largest regional development bank in Latin America and the Caribbean, the IDB is the region’s main source of multilateral funding for economic, social and institutional development.

Canada will host the annual meeting of IDB governors in 2011.

For more information, please see Canada offers new support to the Inter-American Development Bank.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Catherine Loubier
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada