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  • President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Warren Smith, is urging member states to pursue strategies that will promote higher and more sustainable levels of growth in order to successfully transform their economies.
  • The CDB President said the institution will continue its programmes to provide assistance in traditional areas of social and economic infrastructure.
  • The second project is for exploratory drilling for geothermal energy in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Warren Smith, is urging member states to pursue strategies that will promote higher and more sustainable levels of growth in order to successfully transform their economies.

Dr. Smith was addressing the 46th annual meeting of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James yesterday (May 18).

He noted that the region has consistently lagged behind the rest of the world in terms of growth.

“Our region has grown by only 1.2 percent per year since 2009 compared with the global average of 3.7 percent. It is estimated that Caribbean countries, primarily the larger ones, will need to make the shift from current incremental rates of growth of 1.2 percent to transformational rates of at least 5-7 percent per annum in order to create the basis for ending abject poverty by 2030,” he pointed out.

The CDB President said the institution will continue its programmes to provide assistance in traditional areas of social and economic infrastructure.

“The establishment of the United Kingdom-Caribbean Infrastructure Fund is worthy of mention. Infrastructure investment provides a solid platform for economic growth. This £300 million fund of grant resources for nine eligible Caribbean countries will help to address deficiencies in vital infrastructure such as roads, bridges and water supply, with CDB as the executing agency,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, he informed that the CDB board of directors approved two projects at its meeting earlier this week, where millions of dollars will be spent to improve energy efficiency.

One project will finance the installation of LED street lamps in St. Lucia, which will reduce energy consumption and the total quantity of oil imports, as well as lower the street lighting electricity bill by almost 60 percent.

The second project is for exploratory drilling for geothermal energy in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “This is the first of what we expect will be a number of other developments in the geo-thermal energy sector as the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries move aggressively to develop this abundant indigenous energy resource,” Dr. Smith said.