Geoeconomics and global development: the role of Development Finance Institutions

Authors: Emma Mawdsley*, University of Cambridge, Luis Mah, University of Lisbon, Elsje Fourie, University of Maastricht, Yang Jiang, DIIS, Soyeun Kim, Sogang University
Topics: Economic Geography, Development, Political Geography
Keywords: Development Finance Institutions, global development, China, USA
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Capitol Room, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


International Development Finance Institutions are “specialised development banks or subsidiaries set up to support private sector development in developing countries. They are usually majority-owned by national governments and source their capital from national or international development funds or benefit from government guarantees” (OECD 2018). Over the last decade or so, DFIs have been growing in size and number, and they appear to be key sites of geoeconomic strategy, collaboration and competition for a variety of actors. The last few years, for example, have seen the growing capitalisation of long-standing DFIs (such at the UK’s Commonwealth Development Corporation), and the creation of new DFIs (such as the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the recent US announcement of an Overseas Private Investment Corporation). These trends are closely interpellated with the redefinition and relative decline of ‘traditional’ foreign aid, and an emerging geo-economics of ‘blended’ development finance. In this presentation, we critically assess these trends. We draw on an evolving project, led by Luis Mah, examining DFIs in China, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, The Netherlands and the UK.

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