[Dateline: Santiago | Author: ECLAC]
A high-level delegation from the United States Treasury Department paid a working visit to the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago, Chile, where they met with the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Alicia Bárcena, and a group of ECLAC experts, to discuss financing for infrastructure development in the region.
The delegation, headed by the U.S. Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary, Larry McDonald, was in Chile meeting with government officials and heads of various institutions, as part of a larger fact-finding mission to the region to study best practices in public/private sector financing for development, in order to identify efficient ways to provide technical assistance in infrastructure projects.
The discussion focused on ways that public and private institutions could cooperate in developing infrastructure projects in Latin America and the Caribbean to enhance integration and economic development.
Deputy Assistant Secretary McDonald talked about the U.S. Treasury’s interest in creating what he called “infrastructure financial expert core group,” to support governments in the region to strengthen their capacity to engage in partnerships with the private sector.
ECLAC’s Executive Secretary Bárcena acknowledged the progress made by some Latin American countries in infrastructure development, including port concessions, highways, bridges and other large projects, and highlighted the financial and regulatory challenges that the governments face in undertaking these initiatives.
She stressed the importance for better regulatory structures and the need to build capacity in both the public and private sectors.
The meeting agreed to explore further possibilities for cooperation in developing and implementing public/private sector cooperation in selected countries in the region.
Other members of the US delegation included Debra von Koch, Associate Director, U.S. Treasury, Office of Technical Assistance, Government Debt Issuance and Management; Luyen Tran, U.S. Treasury, Director of Western Hemisphere Office; Harry Tether, U.S. Treasury, Office of Technical Assistance, Government Debt Issuance and Management Advisor; Rachel Jarpe, U.S. Treasury, Desk Economist in the Western Hemisphere Office; and Alexander Kasanof, Economic Officer, U.S. Embassy Santiago.