CDB, Government of Trinidad and Tobago, launch USD436.7mn country strategy

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The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), in partnership with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, has formally launched a country strategy for the nation, which proposes financial support of USD436.7 million for the period 2017 to 2021.

On March 9, stakeholders from CDB and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago attended a launch event in Lowlands, Tobago, during which the Bank outlined the programme of support.

“CDB recognises Trinidad and Tobago' potential for transformative economic and social development. Today marks the beginning of a focused five-year programme that has been strategically designed to support improvement of the country' competitiveness, promote good governance, and drive environmental sustainability," said Patricia McKenzie, Vice-President (Operations), CDB.

The programme of assistance, on which Dr. Justin Ram, Director of Economics, CDB made a presentation at the event, aims to achieve five primary development outcomes:

  • improved quality of, and access to, education and training;
  • strengthened social protection;
  • increased productivity, competitiveness and economic diversification;
  • improved evidence-based development planning and institutional development; and
  • strengthened environmental management supported by safe and resilient infrastructure.

Gender equality, as well as energy security and citizen security considerations, will be mainstreamed in CDB' interventions delivered under the strategy.

Today's interaction is really for you to understand what the country strategy is all about for Trinidad and Tobago and, in particular, and also for you to seek any clarification that you may have for your ministries so that you may access the grant resources and the loan resources that are available to shore up the development programme in our various ministries," said the Hon. Camille Robinson-Regis, Minister of Planning and Development during her remarks.

The launch event preceded talks between a CDB delegation and officials from the Tobago House of Assembly, which takes place on March 10, during which they will plan and discuss their engagement over the next four to five years.

These discussions build on earlier extensive dialogue on the strategy with officials from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as other stakeholders and development partners, prior to its approval by the Bank' Board of Directors in December 2016.

Under the country strategy arrangement, governments gain access to resources available under the programme, subject to the Bank' appraisal of individual projects. If those projects are determined to be viable, CDB' Board of Directors approve the interventions. Disbursements commence after conditions agreed to between the country and the Bank have been satisfied.

The country strategy for Trinidad and Tobago aligns with CDB' strategic objectives of supporting inclusive and sustainable growth and development, and promoting good governance. It builds on the Government of Trinidad and Tobago' National Development Plan Vision 2030.

The CDB delegation at the launch event included the Vice-President (Operations) and Director of Economics, along with Daniel Best, Director of Projects; O'Reilly Lewis, Division Chief, Economic Infrastructure Division; Dr. Idamay Denny, Portfolio Manager, Social Sector Division; and Ronald James, Economist.

In addition to the Minister of Planning and Development, present from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago were: Senator the Hon. Jennifer Baptiste-Primus, Minister of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development; Claire Davidson-Williams, Administrator, Division of Finance and the Economy of the Tobago House of Assembly; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Planning and Develoment, Joanne Deoraj; Hon. Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Health; Hon. Anthony Garcia, Minister of Education; Hon. Fitzgerald Hinds, Minister of Public Utilities; Senator the Hon. Kazim Hosein, Minister of Rural Development and Local Government; Hon. Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries; and Senator the Hon. Rohan Sinanan, Minister of Works and Transport.

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