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Inter-American Development Bank
U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Liaison Office to the Inter-American Development Bank


Established in 1959, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) supports efforts by Latin American and Caribbean countries to reduce poverty and inequality. The IDB is the leading source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean and works to bring about development in a sustainable, climate-friendly way, with a strong commitment to achieve measurable results, increased integrity, transparency, and accountability. The IDB has 48 member countries: 26 borrowing members and 22 non-borrowing members, including the United States, its largest stakeholder. The IDB provides loans, guarantees, and technical assistance for public- and private-sector projects and generates tens of thousands of contracts every year, ranging in size from a few thousand to hundreds of millions of dollars. These represent numerous commercial possibilities for businesses, including small- and medium-sized enterprises, in public works, supply of goods, and consulting services.

The Commercial Service (CS) Liaison Office to the Inter-American Development Bank (CS-IDB) is an integral part of the United States Executive Director’s Office at the IDB. CS-IDB’s mission is to help U.S. businesses take advantage of commercial opportunities through the IDB’s numerous projects.


CS-IDB provides the following services to U.S. firms and organizations:

  • Counseling: One-on-one consultations on how to do business with the IDB.
  • Market Research and Outreach: Information on IDB project and procurement opportunities and business orientation seminars. Arrangement of marketing presentations to IDB project, sector, and financial specialists.
  • Key Contact Information: Appointments with IDB experts.
  • Advocacy: Active support to U.S. businesses competing for procurements (including representations and guidance on bidding and resolving payment problems).

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is a multilateral financial institution created to help accelerate the economic growth and social development of its 26 borrowing Latin American and Caribbean countries. Twenty-two non-borrowing nations, including the United States, are also members of the IDB. To view the list of the 48 member countries, click here. Unlike the other development banks, the borrowing nations own the majority of the shares, and many of the IDB’s activities are borrower-driven. The presence of IDB offices in each of the borrowing countries provides the institution with a distinct advantage in understanding its member countries and their challenges.

IDB Structure
The Bank provides public sector loans through its three operational departments:

  • Region 1-Southern Cone
  • Region 2-Mexico/Central America
  • Region 3-Andean/Caribbean

In addition, the Bank has a Private Sector Department (PRI) that is responsible for the development of private infrastructure projects. The IDB group also includes the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), which also promotes private sector investment in the region. A more detailed description of these three entities is discussed later.

IDB Sectors
The sectors in which IDB finances projects include agriculture, industry, education, health, information technology and communications, water and sanitation, transportation, environment, modernization of the state, social investment, and urban development. For a full list of the IDB’s sectors and related news, projects, and events, click here and select your topic of interest.

IDB Lending and U.S. Firms
The IDB lends $8-10 billion annually. Overall funding for each year generates hundreds of contracts for U.S. companies to provide a wide range of goods, equipment, services and expertise. Export opportunities for U.S. firms vary from a few thousand dollars to several million dollars.

IDB and the U.S. Commercial Service

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Liaison to the IDB is an official part of the U.S. Executive Director’s office of the IDB. The U.S. Commercial Service’s Advocacy Center manages the Department of Commerce representatives to the IDB. These representatives provide support and assistance to U.S. firms in three primary areas:

  • Information for U.S. firms about the opportunities created by IDB projects and how to access these opportunities.
  • Business facilitation services, including one-on-one counseling, strategic planning, information gathering for specific needs, and contact and meeting planning for qualified firms.
  • Advocacy support to U.S. firms who have problems with IDB projects, including guidance on the protest process, assistance with payment issues, and direct and indirect advocacy with regard to specific problems or procurement issues.

The Advocacy Center Commercial Liaison Office-IDB is always looking for energetic and dedicated intern candidates. Our intern program provides college or university seniors and graduate students interested in international trade with “hands-on” experience working in a commercial setting in the nation’s capital, Washington DC.

Intern Duties

To the extent possible, the intern’s work assignments will provide exposure to a broad range of activities and services. Every attempt will be made to give hands-on experience where appropriate and where permitted. Intern work assignments include:

  • Conducting research and reporting on commercial opportunities for U.S. firms in funding or project procurement and consultancies from the IDB.
  • Learning about the IDB and its countries of operation in order to assist in counseling U.S. firms on financing available for international procurement and investment.
  • Exposure to the IDB and to U.S. firms trading and investing in the Americas.
  • Assisting the Advocacy Center-IDB in the implementation of its Work Plan, including its reporting plan and outreach activities.
  • This internship is unpaid but offers an excellent opportunity to meet and network with U.S. government officials and private sector representatives involved in international trade. We can arrange for you to earn academic credit and offer transportation reimbursements.

To express your interest in an internship with the office please contact:

Barbara White
(202) 623-3822

Position Your Firm to Win at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Opportunities for U.S. firms in IDB-funded projects abound. But figuring out how to get involved can be difficult and confusing, even for the most experienced firms.

Learn how the IDB can help your business succeed.
The U.S. Commercial Service Liaison Office to the Inter-American Development Bank

Washington, D.C.
Phone:(202) 623-3821

Belen Gallegos

Commercial Representative
Office of the U.S. Executive Director at the IDB
Phone:(202) 623-3821