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$224m in CDB support


$224m in CDB support

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BARBADOS STANDS TO RECEIVE $224 million in financing from the Caribbean Development Bank between this year and 2018.

Having approved 85 loans worth $857.8 million for Barbados over more than 40 years – $648 million of which was disbursed between 1970 and 2013 – the regional financier has completed a new Barbados Country Strategy Paper 2015-2018, detailing its next round of support for the island.

Noting that the document “sets out the strategic direction for CDB’s engagement and defines the parameters of its support”, the bank said the new strategy “rests on three pillars: macroeconomic governance and institutional developmpent; competitiveness and productivity; and green, inclusive development”.

“The indicative programme of assistance has been designed to achieve . . . strengthened fiscal sustainability and supporting institutions; enhanced enabling environment to strengthen competitiveness and productivity; strengthened resilience to climate change and improved disaster risk management; improved quality of climate resilient infrastructure; increased access to tertiary education opportunities; and enhanced social development. General equality, as well as energy efficiency considerations will be mainstreamed in CDB’s interventions,” the CDB document said.

The bank said the $224 million “resource envelope”, which was an effort to “maximise its development impact”, was framed in the context of “high level policy dialogue with key policymakers and stakeholders about the critical development priorities; the country’s financial/fiscal capabilities; and development partners’ activities in the country”.

“The proposed strategy is consistent with CDB’s strategic objectives of promoting broad-based economic growth and social development and enhancing environmental sustainability,” the bank said.

“Long-standing challenges, such as those associated with being a small open economy, are compounded by new ones such as acute economic stagnation; weak competitiveness; fiscal instability; persistent inequality; and the impacts of climate change.

“However, against this backdrop, there are opportunities for the country to maximise its development potential in areas such as renewable energy. Accordingly, the key development priorities, as CDB sees them, are the transformative shifts in policies, practices and institutions that are required to underpin a new development paradigm,” it added.

This paradigm was one that “delivers higher, more inclusive job-led growth and competitiveness; entrenches fiscal and debt sustainability; preserves hard-won social gains, especially in education and poverty reduction; and promotes environmental sustainability”.

CDB’s support of Barbados has been “quite extensive, covering all sectors”. At the end of September 2014, Barbados accounted for 9.1 per cent of CDB’s total outstanding loans, ranking it as the bank’s third largest borrower. (SC)