Jamaica News: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is making more than US$50 million a year available for investment in a number of projects in Jamaica, through its investment arm, IDB Invest.
IDB Invest General Manager, James P. Scriven, who made the disclosure on Friday (October 19), said that tourism, infrastructure, transportation, ports, roads, as well as the financial sector, are the areas identified to benefit. He said the funds will be made available over “a couple of years”.
He was speaking at a luncheon hosted by the IDB’s new Executive Director for Caribbean countries, Ambassador Selwin Hart, at the organisation’s headquarters in Washington DC.
Mr. Scriven told the Caribbean Ambassadors and IDB officials in attendance that IDB Invest is taking keen interest in Jamaica and its development, noting that the funds being made available will support key growth projects.
Meanwhile, he affirmed the IDB Group’s commitment to supporting investments for projects within the wider Caribbean.
“We have over US$300 million that we will loan to various projects in the Caribbean, as we feel the IDB needs to pay more attention and give more financial support to the Caribbean,” he informed.
He noted that the Bank had employed staff in all the Caribbean countries where it has a presence, in order to ensure that the necessary groundwork for the expansion of IDB Invest can take place.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States and Chairman of the CARICOM Caucus of Ambassadors, Her Excellency Audrey P. Marks, welcomed the announcement of IDB funds to be made available for projects in Jamaica.
“This latest expanded financial framework from IDB Invest, which will allow projects as small as US$1 million to be included, will help tremendously in improving small and medium-sized enterprise investment in our tourism, infrastructure, transportation and financial sectors,” she pointed out.
Ambassador Marks said that as Chairman of the CARICOM Caucus of Ambassadors, she is pleased that IDB Invest is looking to help finance a number of projects throughout the region.
“A major focus of the CARICOM Caucus of Ambassadors over the next couple of months is to find ways to attract new investments into the Caribbean and with new investors, the partnership with international financial institutions such as IDB Invest, will add credibility and viability to projects. I am, therefore, happy to note this additional over US$300 million for investment projects throughout the Caribbean,” she pointed out.
Ambassador Marks congratulated Ambassador Hart, who is from Barbados, on his IDB appointment, and expressed support on behalf of Caribbean Ambassadors in Washington, DC, “in working together to get the job done”.
Ambassador Hart, for his part, said the Caribbean office is “strategically engaging key departments across the IDB Group to identify new opportunities for the region, and are keen to work with management on bringing more Caribbean talent into the Bank, including at senior levels”.
“We are working on strengthening our internal coordination and collaboration to better project a strong Caribbean identity across the Bank, strengthening existing relationships and building new ones, as well as working closely with the other CARICOM countries that are not formally part of our constituency on the Board but, nevertheless, share the same priorities and interests,” he added.
Source: JIS News