What the Argentine government achieved in the distribution of power, positions and budget at the IDB

Ilan Goldfajn, former president of the Central Bank of Brazil and director of the Western Hemisphere area of ​​​​the IMF, was elected today to preside over the IDB

The Secretary of International Economic Relations and former Deputy Chief of Staff of Argentina, Cecilia Todesca Boccomet today with the president-elect of the organization, the Brazilian Ilan Golffajncurrent director for the Western Hemisphere Department of the IMF, whom he congratulated and wished for good management.

Goldfajn prevailed among the four final candidates, since at the last moment the Argentine government withdrew the candidacy of Todesca Bocco, in which she had played the “gender card” and supported the Brazilian candidate, who thus prevailed without any problems over the other contenders: the Chilean Nicolas Eyzaguirrethe Mexican Gerardo Esquivel Y gerard johnsonfrom Trinidad & Tobago.

In the meeting with Golffajn, Todesca Bocco highlighted that Argentina will lead the Vice Presidency of Sectors and Knowledge, in addition to the Infrastructure and Energy Management and the new Institute for Gender and Equality, which, he assured, will be one of the new management axes of the IDB and It was one of the “strategic issues” that Argentina presented when originally nominating her, a woman, for the highest position at the IDB.

The IDB is the main source of financing for the development of Latin America and the Caribbean through loans, donations and technical assistance. In addition, it produces studies and research on social inclusion and equality, productivity, innovation and economic integration in the Latin American and Caribbean region.

On the substantiality of the distribution, from the Argentine embassy in the US they indicated that the country “will participate in the management of the new IDB with two key positions that manage 40% of the budget.”

Cecilia Todesca, the Argentine candidate, whose application the government withdrew at the last moment
Cecilia Todesca, the Argentine candidate, whose application the government withdrew at the last moment

“We always look for a consensus. The region has to work together, the challenges and opportunities are shared and we have also agreed on a work agenda with a perspective and issues that seem strategic to us,” they said from Washington, headquarters of the credit agency. “It is a good arrangement for the country,” they concluded.

Todesca’s application had an original weakness: according to data from the IDB website, current credits to Argentina total USD 12,686 million, placing the country, by far, as the organization’s largest debtor.

“The IDB Group Strategy with Argentina 2021-2023″ is structured around four strategic pillars: 1) poverty reduction and social protection for the most vulnerable; 2) economic recovery and productive development 4.0; 3) macroeconomic stability and effectiveness of public policies; and 4) digital transformation as a transversal axis of development. Each axis also incorporates a diversity and gender approach; and environmental sustainability ”, indicates the page of the bank that until his dismissal, last September, was chaired by the American Mauricio Claver-Carone.

Indeed, recently Claver Carone, dismissed after an investigation that concluded that he had violated the institution’s ethical rules, described the government as Alberto Fernandez from “gang of three friends”. In the meetings that he had with him as head of the IDB, the former official said, the Argentine president’s concern “was always about how to find work for Gustavo Beliz”. In addition, Claver Carone warned of the risk of the IDB becoming “the Bank of Celac”, by the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, established in 2010, when the then Venezuelan president was still alive, Hugo Chavez. Made up of 32 nations, Celac is a sort of “OAS without the US” (and which in turn includes Cuba), viewed with suspicion from Washington.

In the previous election, Alberto Fernández nominated his former Secretary of Strategic Affairs, Gustavo Béliz
In the previous election, Alberto Fernández nominated his former Secretary of Strategic Affairs, Gustavo Béliz

The arithmetic of power in the organism is quite revealing. The US, Brazil and the European Union alone account for 51% of the body’s votes. The US has 30%, followed by Argentina and Brazil, with 11% each, the European Union (10%), Mexico (7%), Japan (5%) and Venezuela and Canada (4% each).

The enumeration looks strange, since it includes a block (the EU) and a country (Japan) outside the “inter-American”. This is due to the fact that the IDB, having as members of origin a majority of developing countries, sought to broaden its capital base by adding extra-regional partners with interests in the region, which contribute capital on condition of having a voice in the agenda of the organism. Hence the presence of 16 European countries, 3 Asian countries (China, Japan and South Korea) and Israel. Of the 48 members of the organization, 26 are “borrowers” ​​(that is, credit recipients, like Argentina) and 22 are “lenders”.

The relative weight of the countries is also striking: Argentina equaled with Brazil and above Mexico, and extra-regional members such as the EU and Japan, in addition to the parity between Venezuela and Canada. Once again, the explanation is historical: the IDB was created in 1959, in the midst of the Cold War, as the “developmentalist” leg of the “inter-American system”, whose vertex is the OAS, created in 1947, the year after the end of the Second War. world. In 1959, the Argentine economy was, in fact, as big as or bigger than the Brazilian one, and the Venezuelan one matched the Canadian one.

The government of Alberto Fernández did not manage, as it wanted, to place Todesca in the presidency, but it did manage positions in areas for which, as they pointed out from the embassy in Washington, 40% of the budget of the organization spends.

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