BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) must not view its ongoing transformation as a finite exercise but must continue to evolve once this phase is completed, so that it can respond effectively to the changing needs of the region.
Trinidad and Tobago’s minister of planning and development and current chairman of the CDB’s board of governors, Camille Robinson-Regis emphasised this point while addressing staff during an official visit to the bank.
“I would like to be certain that the bank remains dynamic and relevant. I know that you have in your arsenal, a transformation that you’re going to be following through with. But I wouldn’t like it just to be a transformation that gets to a point and then stops. It must be something that is continuing to evolve,” she stated.
Robinson-Regis’ visit comes ahead of the 49th annual meeting of CDB’s board of governors which Trinidad and Tobago is hosting in June. While at the bank, the chairman also met with CDB president, Dr Wm Warren Smith and the senior management team.
The chairman emphasised the long-standing and deep-rooted relationship between CDB and her country, which is a founding member of the bank and one of its largest shareholders.
“Trinidad and Tobago has a very long history with the bank, and because of our history, we are very proud of the work that the bank does… [w]hen the bank was getting [started], Trinidad and Tobago, because of our position, played a very pivotal role in ensuring that the bank was well respected as it began its work,” said the minister.
In his remarks, CDB president, Dr Wm Warren Smith also highlighted the pivotal role which Trinidad and Tobago played in the bank’s formative years.
“…Trinidad and Tobago helped to finance the early work of our institution; and so, we feel a very strong sense of respect for and indebtedness to that shareholder country,” stated the bank’s president.
Robinson-Regis pointed to the bank’s connectedness to the region as a key strength. She traced her deep connection to CDB to her father, Charles Robinson, who was a staff member when William G Demas was president of CDB.
“The bank… is one of those institutions like UWI… that means something special to the people of the region… even though we have relationships with other development institutions, CDB is the bank that really reflects us most closely and knows what we need,” added Robinson-Regis.
June’s meeting will mark the fifth time that Trinidad and Tobago has hosted CDB’s annual meeting.