JIS News

Dr. Wesley Hughes, Director-General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), has said that Jamaica has always had a very fruitful and well-developed relationship with the Caribbean Development Bank, adding that the Bank has contributed significantly to the country’s economic development since its establishment 37 years ago.
In an interview with JIS News, Dr. Hughes, who is also Alternate Governor for Jamaica on the CDB’s Board of Governors, said that the “Bank contributes to a well-developed lending programme for Jamaica as well as the provision of advice and technical assistance over the years, in a wide variety of areas covering infrastructure, agriculture, education, poverty alleviation projects and assistance to the financial sector in the 1990s, the year 2000 and beyond.”
According to the PIOJ Director-General, this country’s current portfolio with the CDB stood at approximately US$164.6 million and covered 13 projects.
The CDB, which was established in October 1969 to foster economic development among its member countries, has funded a number of important private and public sector projects across the region.
In 2005, Jamaica was granted the largest loan approval of all borrowing member countries, when US$54.1 million was granted to assist in financing one segment of the Northern Coastal Highway Improvement Project (NCHIP), the section from the airport in Montego Bay to Green Pond in Trelawny. In addition, the Bank has provided funding for the upgrading of the sugar industry and the upgrading and expansion of the University of Technology (UTech).
“They have also helped in the financial sector rehabilitation and citrus replanting when we had the [citrus tristeza] disease in the industry and needed money for replanting. They have also assisted in poverty alleviation through a grant and loan facilities to the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF),” Dr. Hughes added.
Additionally, the CDB has provided financial assistance for a number of flood rehabilitation projects, school development programmes including the Enhancement of Basic Schools Project, and is currently funding the Irrigation Development Project in St. Elizabeth.
“The Bank has also provided technical assistance or technical cooperation grants to Jamaica in a wide variety of areas, studies and for policy advice. So the Bank has been very important to us in the development of the economy and the society,” Dr. Hughes informed JIS News.
The CDB will hold its 36th Board of Governors meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort in Montego Bay on May 17 and 18.
The membership of CDB now stands at 25; 20 regional members and five international members. The member countries are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Canada, China, Colombia, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Germany, Grenada, Guyana, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Kingdom and Venezuela.