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Inter-American Development Bank

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group is the main source of development financing in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The IDB Group is comprised of three institutions, the IDB, IDB Invest and IDB Lab.

The IDB is the sovereign arm that provides low-cost loans, grants, credits and guarantees to its Borrowing Member Countries (BMC).

IDB Invest is the private sector arm of the Bank that finances companies and projects that will spur sustainable development in the region.

IDB Lab is the innovation arm of the Bank that identifies technologies and early-stage entrepreneurial solutions for regional development, while mobilizing development financing, knowledge, and connections with multilateral stakeholders.

The IDB's goal is to improve lives in Latin American and the Caribbean, and its' strategic areas of focus include social inclusion and equality, productivity and innovation, climate change and environmental sustainability, institutional capacity and the rule of law, and regional economic integration.

The IDB Group has 48 members, 26 of which are BMCs; which also hold 50% of the voting power on the IDB Board. Canada has been an active member and shareholder of the IDB Group since 1972, providing strategic guidance to support the Bank's goals.

IDB approvals by sector, FY 2022

SectorTotal ($ millions)
Reform/Modernization of the State3,165
Social investment1,639
Private Firms and SME Development1,410
Water and Sanitation1,322
Financial Markets735
Environment and Natural Disasters600
Multiple Sectors500
Agriculture and Rural Development397
Sustainable Tourism289
Urban Development and Housing150
Science and Technology8

Source: 2022 IDB Annual Report

Project procurement

The IDB provides an oversight role, and reviews the Borrower's procurement procedures, documents, bid evaluations, award recommendations, and contracts to ensure that the procurement process is carried out in accordance with IDB procedures.

The Executing/Implementing Agency is responsible for awarding the contract and is typically the buyer, rather than the IDB. Project procurement represents the majority share of procurement opportunities.

Successful firms should first prepare a long-term business development plan by using publically available information including Country Strategies. Firms should also consult the IDB's Monthly Operational Summary (MOS) for the status of projects while they are in the IDB lending pipeline.

While projects are being prepared, firms should consult IDB project pages, which include procurement plans and other project-related information. Successful firms track projects early in the project cycle, and maintain relationships with key IDB sector specialists and with Implementing Agencies in BMCs.

Firms can also review project procurement contract award data to better understand their competition and find partners for potential project opportunities.

Please note eligibilityto bid on IDB-financed projects is limited to IDB Member Countries.

Firms should refer to the relevant IDB procurement policies for Goods and Works and for the Selection of Consultants. however, these can also be determined by reviewing the relevant prequalification, bidding, and request for proposal documents.

Bank executed operational procurement

Bank-Executed Operational (BEO) procurement is the contracting of consulting services of firms directly by the IDB for projects that support the Bank's development agenda. These consulting services business opportunities range across a variety of sectors, including healthcare, energy, governance, transport. The consulting services to which IDB BEO Policies apply are of an intellectual and advisory nature. These policies apply to all contracts for consulting services financed in whole or in part from Bank loans or grants, or funds administered by the Bank and implemented by the Borrower.

Firms can also review BEO contract awards data to better understand their competition and find partners for potential project opportunities.

Corporate procurement

The IDB Corporate Procurement Team purchases a broad array of goods, works and services to meet its internal needs, mainly for IDB staff, IDB HQ and Country Offices. The principles of transparency, fairness, responsiveness, value and accountability govern the Bank's corporate procurement activities and are part of its Corporate Procurement Policy.

Firms can also monitor business opportunities and review contract award data.

Additional resources for firms


ConnectAmericas is a free virtual partnering platform created by the IDB (with the support of Google, Mastercard, Sealand, DHL, and Facebook) to help small and medium-sized enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean gain access to international markets. The platform allows nearly 500,000 entrepreneurs from 160 countries to explore business opportunities and provides them with training tools to facilitate their transactions.

IDB Invest projects

IDB Invest is the private-sector arm of the IDB Group and provides financing for projects and companies in the region, through loans, equity, debt, guarantees, blended finance, and technical assistance. IDB Invest works in a wide variety of sectors, including infrastructure, financial entities, agribusiness, manufacturing, tourism, telecommunications and media and technology.

IDB Invest plays an important role in mobilizing resources and providing expert advice. It can complement public sector reforms by setting high standards for environmental, social, and governance safeguards and non-financial risk management for the projects it finances.


IDB Lab has approved more than US$ 2 billion in over 2,700 projects deployed across 26 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. IDB Lab is an innovation lab and, operates differently from the IDB and IDB Invest. IDB Lab offers a platform for small companies to demonstrate experimental concepts, showcase innovative technologies and market solutions, that can be scaled up at a regional level by the IDB or IDB Invest. The innovative solution must impact one or more of the IDB's Borrowing Member Countries in the region. Some examples include projects that empower women, benefit poor and vulnerable populations, create public sector innovations that help to lower costs, among others. The IDB Group is the only IFI with an arm fully dedicated to fostering innovation at a regional level.

Frequently asked question

How can the TCS help Canadian companies interested in accessing business opportunities financed by the Inter-American Development Bank?

The Office of Liaison with the International Financial Institutions (OLIFI) in Washington, D.C. can support Canadian clients interested in pursuing IDB-financed projects. The OLIFI team can provide a market assessment, provide qualified key contacts and information on IDB processes and operations.

The Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) helps Canadian businesses of all sizes succeed in international markets with export advisory services, funding and accelerator programs. With a presence in more than 160 cities worldwide, the TCS can help you go global.

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