The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a US$357,200 loan to the Barbados Government for improvement to the cargo facilities at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA).
The GAIA Inc. is expected to conduct an extensive analysis to assess the current and future needs, as well as the type of infrastructure that will best create a world-class facility resulting in an upgrade of the airport.
Following a meeting today, the CDB issued a release saying the upgrade should result in improved international competitiveness and multiple benefit to SMEs in particular.
Among the outcomes of the study will be a gap analysis of the existing operations, physical infrastructure and proposed operations, infrastructure required to accommodate forecasted cargo opportunities and facility demand.
The study is also expected to produce security considerations applicable international standards, for both operations and physical infrastructure.
The statement said: “Developing and presenting physical development options, including but not limited to recommendations as to the type of operations (optimal mix and layout of floor space) that should be provided for each of the proposed options”, was also to be a feature of the study.”
CDB Vice President of Operations Dr Carla Barnett said: “Investments in improved logistics and supply chain management can help maximize opportunities that exist for improvement in the productivity of the transportation system. Trade logistics in Barbados require institutional reform and investment in infrastructure in order to improve efficiency in the processing goods and services in trade.
The development of modern air cargo facilitation will be critical in achieving this goal.” According to data published by GAIA Inc, in 2013 it loaded 8.2 million tonnes of cargo and unloaded 12.1 million tonnes.
In the CDB’s Country Strategy Paper 2010-2013, Barbados identified the high cost of doing business as a major issue affecting the international competitiveness of local businesses.
The release stated that “Small businesses are especially vulnerable to high cost structures and the services industry is dominated by time-defined international transactions.
Improved air cargo operations enhance the opportunity to leverage logistics and supply change management to enhance trade facilitation”.
It says the bank focuses on helping to build a more resilient, sustainable and secure Caribbean through funding and technical support.
In 2013, CDB approved $139 million in loans and $28.4 million in grants from the Basic Needs Trust Fund. (PR/MM)