News Release

CDB Looks at Deepening Involvement in Jamaica

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VPO Isaac Solomon and PM Andrew Holness

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has signalled its intention for deeper involvement in Jamaica’s sustainable development programmes as a senior executive team today completed a week of high-level exchanges with government ministers and other officials.

The mission commenced with a meeting with Prime Minister, the Honourable Andrew Holness on Tuesday May 16, 2023, where the dialogue centred on strengthening the partnership between the country and the Bank to accelerate Jamaica’s economic growth agenda. Pivotal areas identified for deeper intervention included agriculture, food sovereignty, water security, citizens security and capacity building for national institutions.

The delegation also held discussions with Director General, Dr Wayne Henry, and other senior managers from the Planning Institute of Jamaica, which focused on increased support for initiatives to promote resilience and sustainability. Dr Henry recognised CDB’s deep understanding of the country's challenges citing the Bank’s advocacy and advice on measuring vulnerability, and the impact of its expansive operations in Jamaica’s agriculture and water sectors.

The mission agenda also included consultations with the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Honourable Pearnel Charles Jr, Minister of National Security, the Honourable Dr Horace Chang and Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, the Honourable Darryl Vaz. Additionally, the Bank delegation held discussions with senior representatives of the National Water Commission and the Urban Development Corporation.

Accelerating Jamaica’s development trajectory is an imperative for the CDB as the country is one of our largest shareholders and an important part of the regional development framework,” said head of the delegation, CDB Vice President (Operations), (VPO) Mr Isaac Solomon. “As a matter of priority, we are seeking to work more closely with Jamaica to facilitate holistic development that in areas that will resonate with various stakeholder groups throughout the country.” 

The CDB team included Mr Daniel Best, Director of Projects, Mr Ian Durant, Director of Economics, Ms Ann-Marie Warner, Deputy Director, Corporate Strategy, Dr Darran Newman, Advisor to the VPO and Mr Tommy Descartes, Country Economist for Jamaica. The mission started on Tuesday, May 16.

The Bank’s portfolio in Jamaica includes the £35.5 million Essex Valley Agricultural Development Project in St. Elizabeth and the £16.7 million Southern Plains Agricultural Development Project in Clarendon. The two major infrastructure improvement initiatives are being financed under the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund. Both undertakings will improve agricultural production and productivity, and access to markets for farming interests in the respective parishes.