The Inter-American Development Bank is to make over US$50 million dollars a year for investment in various projects in Jamaica, through its investment arm, IDB Invest.
Tourism, infrastructure, transportation, ports, roads, and the financial sector are the areas identified to benefit, according to IDB Invest General Manager James P. Scriven. “We are looking at investing over $50 million dollars a year over a couple of years, in a number of projects in Jamaica.”
Scriven made the disclosure at a luncheon hosted by the IDB’s new Executive Director for the Caribbean countries, Ambassador Selwin Hart, at IDB headquarters in Washington D.C. on Friday, October 19, 2018.
Keen interest in Jamaica
Scriven told the Caribbean ambassadors and IDB officials that IDB Invest is taking keen interest in Jamaica and its development, hence the funds were made available to support these projects he described as key to that country’s development.
More IDB staff placed in Caribbean
The IDB Invest official informed the gathering that to demonstrate its commitment to the Caribbean, the Bank had employed a number of staff in all the Caribbean countries where it has a presence – to ensure that the necessary groundwork for the expansion of IDB Invest can take place.
In reaffirming the IDB Group’s increased interest in supporting investments for projects within the Caribbean, Scriven explained, t “To this end, we have over $300 million dollars 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.”
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 for projects in Jamaica. Lauding the development bank’s unwavering support and development assistance to her country, she remarked, “This latest expanded financial framework from the IDB Invest which will allow projects as small as US $1M to be included will help tremendously in improving SME’s investment in our tourism, infrastructure, transportation and financial sector. “
Will help to attract new investors
Ambassador Marks added that as Chairman of the CARICOM Caucus of Ambassadors, she was pleased that IDB Invest was looking to help finance a number of projects throughout the Caribbean. “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 $300 million dollars available for investment projects throughout the Caribbean.”
The CARICOM Caucus of Ambassadors Chairman also congratulated Ambassador Hart, who is from Barbados, on his IDB appointment. She further expressed on behalf of Caribbean ambassadors in Washington, D.C., their support in working together to get the job done.
Aim to project strong Caribbean identity
Meanwhile, the new IDB Executive Director for the Caribbean, Ambassador Hart, said “we are working on strengthening our internal coordination and collaboration to better project a strong Caribbean identity across the Bank; strengthen existing relationships and build new ones across the Bank; as well as work 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: “We are 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.”
Hart assured members of the Caribbean diplomatic community that he, along with his officers, were working to strengthen systems of accountability to the five Governors. “We recognize our responsibilities to keep them fully informed on developments on the Board.”