On Monday in Bogotá, a White House delegation initiated a listening tour to better understand regional needs and optimal ways to partner on infrastructure projects under the Build Back Better World (B3W) program. B3W is a values-driven, high-standard, transparent, and catalytic partnership led by major democracies to meet infrastructure needs around the world. White House Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics Daleep Singh and U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Chief Operating Officer David Marchick discussed possible projects with President Duque and several cabinet members at the Presidential Palace, including Presidency Administrative Director Victor Muñoz; Chief of Staff María Paula Correa; Miniser of Transportation Ángela María Orozco; Minister of Environment Carlos Eduardo Correa; Minister of Mines and Energy María Fernanda Suárez; Ministere of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism María Ximena Lombana; and Minister of Finance and Public Credit José Manuel Restrepo.
The U.S. delegation also met with private financial institutions and companies working in infrastructure development; with Ministry of Health representatives to discuss vaccine production capacity; with members of the mayor’s office on city improvements; and with environmental and labor leaders. As the United States and our allies further develop and implement B3W, robust and meaningful partnerships are critical to ensure we offer a positive choice to meet the infrastructure needs of people all over the world.
During their visit to Colombia, the U.S. delegation also announced $26 million in additional assistance to Colombian farmers and Venezuelan migrants through microloans supported by DFC. The White House delegation, joined by U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg, underscored the importance of private sector investments in conflict-affected regions to help vulnerable populations.
Ambassador Goldberg noted, “The strength of our bilateral relationship with Colombia is demonstrated through strong private sector relationships that bolster sustainability, increasing economic formality to support the broader objectives of Peace Accord implementation and reduction of illegal crops and drugs.” The new partnerships with Colombian financial institutions Bancamia, Crezcamos, and COLANTA AyC supported by DFC will complement ongoing efforts by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to improve economic opportunities for Colombia farmers in conflict-affected regions and the integration of Venezuelan migrants into the formal economy. The White House delegation also received an update from Forest First Colombia, an organization for which DFC has committed to provide financing to expand sustainable forestry on degraded land in eastern Colombia to promote sustainable economic growth.