#2023WCA: Ilan Goldfajn and David Malpass on Strengthening Resilience, Boosting Growth

The presidents of the World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank discussed investment opportunities.


  • David Malpass, President, The World Bank Group
  • Ilan Goldfajn, President of the Inter-American Development Bank
  • Susan Segal, President & CEO, Council of the Americas

"The countries like it, the governments like those loans, but then the consequences last years," said the President of the World Bank Group, David Malpass, on the influence of China in Latin America during the 53rd annual Washington Conference on the Americas at the Organization of American States.

The panel discussed the investment in Latin America. A criticism the President of the IDB, Ilan Goldfajn, offered is a lack of focus. "We are too concentrated on the amount of dollars we lend. We need to concentrate on what these dollars are actually making. What is the end result?" said the Goldfajn. He provided the private sector's perspective about what's needed to invest in projects: stability and the rule of law. "Economic stability and political stability is, in my view, the number one factor to attract capital," said Goldfajn. 

Another topic was the limitations U.S. businesses face that prevent them from engaging with Latin American private and public sectors. Malpass noted that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prevents U.S. businesses from entering the region. At the same time, China can engage more freely with public- and private-sector officials. He believes a big challenge for Latin America and industrialized countries is changing the system so that there can be a "market-based system going forward in Latin America," concluded Malpass.