River Plate Basin Treaty

Signed in 1968, the Agreement of Santa Cruz de la Sierra initiated the integration and coordination process to identify the needs of the area of influence of the River Plate Basin. After the 1st Extraordinary Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, the River Plate Basin Treaty was signed in Brasilia, on April 23, 1969.

The document entered into force on August 14, 1970, as a result of a joint effort to promote the economic development of the subregion. The member countries developed operational agreements and legal instruments aiming at identifying fields of common interest in the region.

River Plate Basin Treaty

The Governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay held the 4th Ministerial Meeting in Asuncion on June 6, 1971, in order to “create a body with international legal status to be called Financial Fund for the Development of the River Plate Basin, FONPLATA”.

During the 6th Meeting, held in Buenos Aires on June 12, 1974, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs signed FONPLATA's Articles of Agreement, with international legal status and for an unlimited duration.

FONPLATA started its operations in 1977, when the Headquarters Agreement with the Government of Bolivia came into force, and its first headquarters were in Sucre, the capital city.

In December 2002, the Republic of Bolivia was ratified as FONPLATA’s host country by Resolution Nº 56, adopted at the 7th Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the River Plate Basin countries, and by Decision of the Intergovernmental Coordinating Committee of the River Plate Basin Countries, at the 529th Ordinary Session.

Institutional strengthening

In 2010, the Governors of FONPLATA decided to adopt a new institutional management model and created the position of Executive President.

In 2012, when the first Executive President took office, the new management developed a structured agenda in coordination with FONPLATA governing bodies to relaunch the Bank based on a schedule with short-term management goals. As a result, the Board of Governors additionally approved a long-term plan, the Institutional Strategic Plan (PEI, for its acronym in Spanish), and two capital increases.

The Board of Governors approved two capital increases: one of USD 1.15 billion in August 2013, and the second in January 2016, of more than USD 3 billion.

In December 2014, the Institution received a USD 75 million credit from CAF, the Latin-American Development Bank. These funds enabled the institutional strengthening of FONPLATA, the growth of the credit portfolio, and the implementation of infrastructure projects and social and productive development projects in its member countries.

In 2016, for the first time, FONPLATA obtained an international credit rating, registering A2 by Moody's and A- by Standard & Poor's. For Moody's, the rating has remained stable enabling the Bank to access and grant funding under favorable conditions. Standard & Poor's, in a report dated February 21, 2019, ratified FONPLATA's ratings at A- and A-2 for long and short terms, respectively, modifying the outlook from stable to positive. On September 27, 2021, Standard & Poor's raised the Bank's ratings to A/A-1 supported by the strengthening of FONPLATA's operational capabilities and its risk management framework.

Attains status as Development Bank

In November 2018, the Institution was consolidated under the name FONPLATA — Development Bank by amending the Articles of Agreement to enable the establishment of strategic alliances with new member countries and other multilateral credit agencies and banks that share the same institutional values and development goals for the region.

As of late 2019, the Bank oversees the trusteeship of the Fund for the Structural Convergence of MERCOSUR (FOCEM), and since 2020 it funds operations to the public sector without requiring sovereign guarantee. This has opened the possibility of similar operations to all member countries. Besides, the Bank offers lines of credit for economic reactivation and green funding.

In 2021, FONPLATA approved a new Institutional Strategic Plan for the 2022–2026 period, aimed at achieving a set of interrelated strategic objectives and serving as a platform for defining the policies and activities to be conducted along those years. This programmatic platform is based on five strategic pillars and three lines of action aimed at strengthening the Institution and making it stand out as a development bank with the following characteristics:

  • Reliability, to respond with the technical and financial support required to mitigate development gaps within and across countries;
  • Proactivity, to respond promptly by providing innovative solutions, in an effective and efficient manner; and
  • Flexibility, to adjust quickly and effectively to changes in the expectations and demands of the member countries, partners in development, and capital markets, thus maintaining the equity and financial soundness and significance of the institution.

In 2022, FONPLATA became one of the pioneering multilateral banks in Latin America with a Sustainable Debt Framework aligned with the International Capital Market Association (ICMA), showing its firm commitment to environmental issues aligned with the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations and the Paris Agreement.