USA / KOREA – The government of Korea and the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB Group) have agreed to renew and expand the Korea Infrastructure Development Co-Financing Facility for Latin America and the Caribbean (KIF) for an additional $1 billion, its largest-ever replenishment since its inception in 2015.
The expansion of the KIF will enable the IDB Group to make available additional resources for the region’s critical development in areas such as infrastructure and energy, social sector and technology, among others.
In the context of his first official visit to Korea, IDB President Ilan Goldfajn signed a letter of intent with Choo Kyung-ho, Korea’s deputy prime minister, to formalize the agreement.
“This large-scale replenishment, as formalized by today’s letter of intent, far surpasses the cumulative amounts of all previous phases combined. This contribution will enhance our efforts to bridge the infrastructure gap within Latin America and the Caribbean. Moreover, the expanded KIF signals a new era of elevated cooperation between Korea and the IDB Group,” said president Goldfajn.
Deputy prime minister Choo Kyung-ho added: “Today’s letter of intent strengthens our cooperative framework and paves the way for further projects between Korea and the IDB Group, encompassing areas such as infrastructure, energy, social development, and technology.”
The IDB Group and the Korean Ministry of Economy and Finance (MoEF) structured the first phase of KIF for $100M in 2015. This commitment was reinforced through subsequent renewals in 2017 ($300 million) and 2021 ($500 million), culminating in the present $1 billion renewal. Administered by the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) and funded by the MoEF, the Facility has effectively underpinned co-financing initiatives between the IDB and Korea, enabling sovereign-guaranteed concessional loans for the IDB’s projects.
Notably, $845 million has already been allocated across 18 IDB co-financed projects. This year alone, $150 million has been earmarked by the MOEF to fuel the Ecuador Energy Transition Program ($50 million) and the Bolivia Rural Electrification Program ($100 million).
This expansion of KIF marks the culmination of years of fruitful collaboration, a result of the synergies harnessed through the Korea-LAC business summits. This success will be further propelled by the upcoming first Korea-LAC Innovation Forum, scheduled for October 2023, amplifying private sector engagement between Korea and LAC. The forum aims to introduce innovative Korean technologies to the region, elevating the partnerships to new heights.