Latin America and the Caribbean

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USTDA is one of the leading project preparation facilities operating in Latin America and the Caribbean, supporting more than 700 project activities across 24 of the region’s economies. USTDA focuses its efforts on the economic sectors of strategic importance to U.S. industry and their regional partners, including energy, transportation, information and communications technology, and water.
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Dominican Republic: Energy Storage Regulatory Roadmap
November 15, 2021 - January 12, 2022
Dominican Republic: Energy Storage Regulatory Roadmap

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USTDA Advances Energy Storage Systems in the Dominican Republic
Press Release

Arlington, VA – The U.S. Trade and Development Agency has awarded a technical assistance grant to the Dominican Republic’s Superintendent of Electricity (SIE) that will…

Vinai Thummalapally Appointed USTDA Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer; Assumes Role of Acting Director
Press Release

Arlington, VA –Today, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. appointed Vinai Thummalapally to serve as the Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Trade…

President Biden to Nominate Enoh T. Ebong as USTDA Director
Press Release

Arlington, VA – Today, President Joseph R. Biden announced his intent to nominate Enoh T. Ebong as the Director of the U.S. Trade and Development…

USTDA Generates Record Results for U.S. Exporters
Press Release

Arlington, VA – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency announced a record-breaking return on investment and the highest since its founding in 1992. USTDA…

USTDA Advances Sustainable Public Transit in Ecuador
Press Release

Arlington, VA – The U.S. Trade and Development Agency has awarded a technical assistance grant to Quito’s public transit bus operator, Empresa Pública Metropolitana de…

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Success Stories
Photo of El Dorado Airport in Bogota, Colombia. USTDA-funded technical assistance led to new investments in aviation and meteorology infrastructure using U.S. exports.
U.S. Technology Helps Colombia Improve Aviation Safety

Colombia has some of the most diverse topography in the world. The Andes, broad plains, Amazon rainforests and coastal areas create a variable landscape with dynamic weather patterns that can be hazardous for aircraft. Over the past 20 years, USTDA-funded assistance has guided the modernization of Colombia’s aeronautical meteorological services to predict these weather changes, ensure air safety and accommodate the country’s long-term growth in air passenger traffic.

In 2001, USTDA began its partnership with Colombia’s civil aviation authority, Aerocivil, by funding a team of U.S. experts that recommended a series of specific investments to help the country meet its aviation safety requirements. As a direct result of this assistance, Aerocivil equipped the country’s airports with modern navigational aids to facilitate the safety of airplanes flying in a holding pattern. The addition of weather monitoring technologies helped improve the flow of planes in and out of airports and allowed for more efficient control of the country’s airspace. USTDA’s assistance also guided the planning for a new meteorology center at Bogotá’s El Dorado International Airport that opened in 2014 and serves as the headquarters for Colombia’s aeronautical meteorology services.

U.S. companies became Colombia’s partners of choice for many of its investments in these aviation safety technologies, including radars, weather forecasting systems, and satellite transceivers and receivers from Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, Texas and Virginia.

“Aerocivil has sustained its commitment to modernizing Colombia’s aviation sector, even throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic. These actions are supporting Colombia’s economic growth,” said Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Acting Director. “USTDA is proud to have fostered partnerships with the U.S. aviation industry, whose infrastructure solutions have created safer airways over Colombia for tens of millions of passengers each year.”

U.S. Technology Helps Colombia Improve Aviation Safety
Expanding Rural Electricity Access in Haiti

Nearly three-quarters of Haiti’s 10 million citizens lack access to reliable electricity. A primary cause is the nation’s limited and unreliable power grid, which forces many small towns to seek their own solutions in order to provide power to local households, schools and the nation’s growing economic sectors. Through a partnership with Washington, DC-based nonprofit EarthSpark International, USTDA is helping plan and deliver clean microgrid solutions in communities across Haiti.

In 2012, EarthSpark began operating a community microgrid in the southwestern Haitian town of Les Anglais, designing and piloting smart meters the organization would eventually spin out into SparkMeter, an independent technology company. In 2015 the group expanded service and built a solar array with battery storage as the primary source of power. The tiny town was soon enjoying some of the best power quality in the country. To replicate this success across Haiti, EarthSpark turned to USTDA for assistance, and the Agency responded by funding a nationwide assessment of the solar-powered microgrid potential in 89 rural Haitian towns. This process also evaluated essential factors including economic activity, electricity demand and infrastructure requirements.

The study, conducted with EarthSpark’s Haitian-affiliated company, Enèji Pwòp, as well as local universities and a think tank, led to the 2019 implementation of a new solar-powered microgrid in the southwestern town of Tiburon, where 500 homes and businesses now have access to clean, reliable electricity. In addition, the deployment of SparkMeter’s advanced equipment has also enabled greater energy efficiency and stronger resilience in the event of severe hurricanes.

Tiburon is now one of a small handful of communities in Haiti with reliable 24-hour electricity. And EarthSpark now has plans to dramatically scale up its microgrids in Haiti to 24 smart, solar-powered grids in the next four years, to be financed in part by a $9.9 million commitment from the Green Climate Fund.

“Microgrids hold enormous potential to quickly bring electricity to communities across rural Haiti,” said Allison Archambault, President at EarthSpark International. “With local and national government support as well as international cooperation, the launch of the Tiburon grid is a success story for multi-sector partnerships building a market that can scale-up to sustainably electrify the 70 percent of the Haitian population still living without electricity.” 

USTDA’s Acting Director Enoh T. Ebong added: “This project has already helped Haiti vastly expand its microgrid operations, providing more citizens with access to reliable power and clean energy. We are confident that the innovation of U.S. technology will continue to make the decisive difference in Haiti and integrate microgrids in communities throughout the country.”

Expanding Rural Electricity Access in Haiti
Success in Colombia: Supporting Border Safety and Promoting Economic Growth

Colombia’s ports are essential to South American and global trade. By partnering with USTDA for more than two decades, Colombia has successfully planned and implemented new procedures and investments that have increased port security and efficiency, while decreasing the illegal transportation of goods through its borders.

Colombia’s National Tax and Customs Agency, DIAN, approached USTDA for assistance in 2012, when it was losing billions of dollars annually due to the smuggling of alcohol, tobacco and merchandise. This illegal trafficking decreased Colombia’s fiscal revenues and undermined its ability to reinvest those resources into social programs and new infrastructure. USTDA responded by funding technical assistance that continues to generate export opportunities for U.S. firms and strengthen Colombia’s ports and customs operations.

Based on USTDA’s assistance, the Colombian government issued a decree mandating the procurement of scanners to inspect containers arriving at all the country’s ports, airports and border crossings. Colombia subsequently installed non-intrusive cargo inspection systems at the Ports of Aguadulce, Barranquilla, Buenaventura, Cartagena, and Santa Marta that allow shipping containers to be inspected without being opened.

These systems, procured from U.S. companies in California, Florida, and Massachusetts, process cargo more quickly, improve the flow of port traffic, optimize the accuracy of cargo risk-profiling and facilitate information sharing between authorities. The result is a stronger, safer and more secure port infrastructure.

USTDA’s Acting Director Enoh T. Ebong summarized the success: “Our work in Colombia has helped the country make significant and long-lasting improvements in its ports’ security and safety. These activities truly showcase the quality and capacity of American technology and the best of USTDA’s collaboration with our key partners in Latin America.” 

Success in Colombia: Supporting Border Safety and Promoting Economic Growth
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