CDB Board approves loan to Barbados for enhancement of immigration department
The ability of the Immigration Department in Barbados to function effectively will be greatly enhanced by a loan of USD6.474 mn from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The loan was approved by the Bank's Board of Directors on Thursday, December 11, 2014. Among the priorities identified by Government of Barbados as part of its Medium-term Growth and Development Strategy (MTGDS) 2013-2020 are: "enhanced international competitiveness, national productivity; efficiency and service excellence" and "more modern and efficient public and private sector institutions. In keeping with that focus, the loan will provide for: the retrofitting, furnishing, and equipping of sections of the Princess Alice Highway Car Park Complex into new offices for the Immigration Department; information technology systems upgrade; legislative reform and institutional strengthening including organisational assessment; and training in operations and client centred approaches to service delivery. The Project forms part of the reform of the immigration services currently being executed through a Compete Caribbean 2 programme, and was initiated by the recommendations of the Diagnostic Report which was the main output of the programme. Efficient immigration services are key to enhanced Competitiveness and productivity as inputs to job-led growth and development. Immigration services revolve around border control and security; issuing of passports; and processing of applications for various forms of immigration status. The effective functioning of that Department has implications for the main export-earning sectors of Tourism, and the international financial services, as well as the business community.