CARICOM’s economic development and integration are to receive support as its own development bank and the hemisphere’s development lender announced they are joining forces under a new agreement inked on Monday.
The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), a CARICOM institution that precedes the regional bloc’s establishment by five years, on Monday entered the agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that resets an original cooperation deal now 43 years old.
The accord was signed at a virtual ceremony that linked CDB and IDB headquarters in Barbados and Washington DC by videoconference.
The cooperation agreement sets out how the two financial institutions and IDB Invest are to finance or co-finance projects, in order to build social, economic and environment self-reliance and further “inclusion and equality, and to enhance good governance and innovation”, they said.
The two development banks also agreed to provide joint financial and advisory services, build capacity and train personnel in the 15-nation grouping.
CDB President Dr Warren Smith said: “Today’s signing ceremony is a re-affirmation of CDB and IDB’s shared commitment to the sustainable growth and development of the Caribbean region. It signals that we have reached another milestone in over four decades of collaboration between our two institutions.
“With the widening of our agreement to include IDB Invest, we are also expanding the opportunities for the regional private sector to play an even bigger and more meaningful role in improving the lives and well-being of Caribbean people.”
Said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno: “This agreement will help the Caribbean region at a critical time when countries face enormous challenges to transform their post-pandemic economies in order to become more sustainable and more resilient to natural disasters, and more capable of harnessing the creative energies of their people.”
In a joint statement, CDB and the IDB Group said the new accord replaces a cooperation agreement dating back to 1977 and will facilitate CDB and IDB Invest’s joint promotion of public-private partnerships.
IDB Invest Chief Executive Officer James P Scriven said: “The private sector can play a catalytic role in transforming the Caribbean for a more sustainable tomorrow. IDB Invest has placed more local staff in common member countries and made available more financial products and services than ever before, highlighting our commitment to provide solutions and technical excellence in the Caribbean.
“This CDB partnership only strengthens our relationship and ability to support the private sector and reignite growth.”
By harmonising policies and procedures for the procurement of goods, works, and services, the new agreement also increases efficiency gains to be passed on to project beneficiaries, in the form of reduced transaction costs, the statement said.