This paper aims to reconstruct the history of the partnership between the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA) and Brazil’s National Bank for Economic Development (BNDE). The ECLA/BNDE Economic Development Centre, which operated in Rio de Janeiro between 1960 and 1967, held courses on Problems of Economic Development in several regions of the country, training a generation of development planning specialists who worked to overcome underdevelopment. The Centre also functioned as a gateway to ECLA ideas and writings in Brazil and as a locus of knowledge production in the area of economic development. It thus impacted both the governmental sphere and the academic world, providing an alternative to predominantly neoclassical economics courses. Drawing on a combination of documents, newspaper articles and the testimony of former members of the Centre, this article describes its activities and retraces the events leading to its creation, expansion and closure.