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Growth in the Americas Initiative Op-Ed
January 15, 2020

Solar Panel Array at U.S. Consulate General Curacao
Solar Panel Array at U.S. Consulate General Curacao

Partnerships – between governments and between the public and private sectors – are key to delivering the quality infrastructure that populations across the hemisphere are seeking.  The U.S. government is working to strengthen these linkages through a newly expanded initiative called Growth in the Americas.

Latin American and Caribbean countries are partnering with the United States under this initiative to improve transparency, combat corruption, and strengthen governance.  Through these partnerships, we will develop enabling environments for private sector investments in infrastructure that are sustainable, transparent, competitive, and in line with international best practices.  The goal is to help the private sector create high-quality infrastructure of all types – energy, airports, seaports, roads, telecommunication and digital networks.

We are focusing expertise and resources from across the U.S. government to help the region identify and address barriers to investment. We know that many companies hesitate to invest for a variety of concerns, which leaves our regional partners with fewer options to bridge the significant infrastructure investment gap. Barriers can include lengthy permitting processes, opaque procurement processes, and burdensome regulations.

The United States’ growing collaboration with the region on digital economy and cybersecurity priorities is just one example of the great opportunities for shared growth around shared values.  I am proud to say we are expanding the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership (DCCP) to the Western Hemisphere, helping us leverage public-private partnerships and technical assistance to support the digital infrastructure development that the region and its people need.

Other examples of our partnership at work include our cooperation with Panama to improve its credit rating by two grades, resulting in more affordable energy infrastructure for the Panamanian people.  In Argentina, OPIC announced in September more than $1 billion in loan guarantees to support energy and road infrastructure.  Other resources include USAID’s Caribbean Energy Initiative, which aims to help the region create an enabling environment that promotes investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Additionally, the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative (CESI) Loan Guarantee program aims to mobilize $25 million in private finance for non-oil energy projects and small-scale renewable energy projects, improving access to capital for businesses to reduce energy costs and improve clean energy production as well as promoting small and medium-sized enterprise growth and competitiveness.

The U.S. government recognizes that more needs to be done together with regional governments and the private sector to promote growth in the region’s infrastructure.  We share strong ties and similar values.  Fundamental to those shared values are a belief in democratic government and peaceful self-expression, and fairness and equality for all. We look forward to working with you to expand economic growth and jobs by paving the way to quality infrastructure.

Allen S. Greenberg
Consul General and Chief of Mission to the Dutch Caribbean