Barbados’ efforts to revitalise its main commercial hub, are expected to receive a major financial boost from the Inter-American Development Bank. Barbados TODAY understands that the IDB was very impressed with the private/public sector model being used for the Revitalisation of Bridgetown Initiative, and was likely to contribute tens of thousands of dollars to the venture.
The venture is being spearheaded by the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and its President Lalu Vaswani is excited about the prospects of getting funding from the bank.
“The Revitalisation of Bridgetown Initiative created a model which was based on a consensual public/private partnership model. From the inception, whatever we have done, we have embraced the private/public partnership. That has proven so effective … that we do have an international financial organisation, finding that it is an effective model that is worthy of replicating in other countries where they’ve had economic problems in a city, where, for example, the dominant company, like an oil company, may have chosen to discontinue operations,” Vaswani pointed out.
The chamber boss noted that consideration was therefore given to ways of revitalising
those businesses which would have been adversely affected in such circumstances. “So this model that we have created has proven very effective, because it involves
interaction, cooperation and collaboration and smart partnerships, basically,” added the business leader.
Vaswani told this newspaper the chamber was working with the IDB and expected to conclude a formal agreement with that international financial institution later this year.
“But I know they are very pleased with the approach we have taken and whatever funding we get, it demonstrates that you have received an international seal of approval for what you have done, and that is what is significant,” insisted Vaswani.
He suggested that there were many areas of funding for good projects, “but somebody wants to know it’s a good project”.
“That seal of approval helps you to access other sources of funding,” added the BCCI president.
The business sector organisation is on a mission to bring year-round, 24-hour commercial, cultural and entertainment activity to Bridgetown and its environs. (EJ)