From left to right: Dr Justin Ram, Director of Economics, CDB; Joanne Deoraj, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Planning and Development; Claire Davidson-Williams, Administrator, Division of Finance and the Economy of the Tobago House of Assembly; Camille Robinson-Regis, Minister of Planning and Development; Patricia McKenzie, Vice-President Operations, CDB and Daniel Best, Director of Projects, CDB, chat during the launch of the country strategy in Tobago on March 9, 2017
SCARBOROUGH, Tobago -- 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 US$436.7 million for the period 2017 to 2021.
On March 9, stakeholders from CDB and the government attended a launch event in Lowlands, Tobago, during which the bank outlined the programme of support.
“CDB recognises Trinidad and Tobago's 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’s 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’s 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 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 took place on March 10, during which they planned and discussed 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’s board of directors in December 2016.
Under the country strategy arrangement, governments gain access to resources available under the programme, subject to the bank’s appraisal of individual projects. If those projects are determined to be viable, CDB’s board of directors approves 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’s strategic objectives of supporting inclusive and sustainable growth and development, and promoting good governance. It builds on the government of Trinidad and Tobago’s National Development Plan Vision 2030.