The challenge of international development requires a medley of ideas. At the Multilateral Investment Fund, we work in an array of topics that are at the forefront of efforts to spur the economic development of the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. Each week, this blog "Trends" brings you our latest research and thinking. 

Our complete list of blogs can be found here.

To connect or not to connect? Shifting energy industry forges unlikely partnerships

By Guest

On the big island in Hawaii, the sun shines 168 days of the year. In Honolulu, it jumps to 271 days of sunshine. That’s the perfect market to launch a new partnership between solar panel supplier SolarCity and electric carmaker Tesla Motors.

Latin America: The next global breadbasket

By Guest

International experts flew into the inaugural AgroLAC 2025 meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil, last month to promote new financial instruments that could connect with innovative solutions to expand and develop sustainable agricultural production across the region. The timing couldn’t be more significant: experts predict that global food production must increase by 60 percent to feed the 9 billion people who will inhabit our planet by 2050. And we need to accomplish this as farmers and producers worldwide confront the growing effects of climate change and increasing competition for land and water.

How can we make better use of remittances?

By Tomas Miller

By Tomas Miller and Maria Luisa Hayem 

Headlines about international remittances—money sent by migrants to their countries of origin—often focus on amounts. In 2014, for example, remittances received in Latin America and the Caribbean managed to surpass the record high set in 2008, reaching $65.4 billion. But beyond their amount, remittances are an important tool for financial inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean. We at the Multilateral Investment Fund have been working on the issue of remittances for 13 years. In that time, we have seen significant progress on many fronts, including: reductions in the cost of sending payments; the use of technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones to facilitate sending and receiving; and more efficient distribution through the growing number of points of service for receiving remittances, such as agent banking.

Local input, strategic partners, lessons learned inform future work in Haiti

By Winsome Leslie

When the sun dawned on Haiti on January 11th, 2010, a day after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that shook the country, the outlook was bleak. Hundreds of thousands had lost their lives, families, or friends, as well as their homes. While the earthquake has had many deep and lasting repercussions, in the years since then, there have been many promising developments. They become evident during conversations with Haitian entrepreneurs these days. 

Can we invest intelligently in microfinance?

By Yuri Soares

Microfinance has grown from an outfit financed by a few donors and philanthropic foundations, to a large and profitable industry: a multi-billion-dollar worldwide endeavor reaching 2 billion clients in low- and middle-income countries. The amount of international public and private funding to microfinance institutions has likewise increased dramatically—I estimate by a factor of 14 over the past decade — reaching $31 billion in 2013. Given this success, and the amount spent by impact investors (including development finance institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank), are we investing intelligently?