DBJ Conference to Target Local Investors

Photo: Michael Sloley General Manager, Public-Private Partnerships and Privatisation at the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), Denise Arana (centre), provides details about the DBJ’s Regional Infrastructure Conference at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank on February 28. She is flanked by Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sharlene Williams (left) and Consultant, Jamaica Venture Capital Programme, Audrey Richards. The conference is set for March 6-7 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Story Highlights

  • The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is targeting local investors through the staging of its Regional Infrastructure Conference focused on public-private partnerships (PPP).
  • DBJ General Manager for Public-Private Partnerships and Privatisation, Denise Arana said, globally, Governments have not been able to keep up with investments in infrastructure, hence the drive towards PPPs for financing such projects.
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers is one of the partners in the staging of the conference. Others are Caribbean Development Bank, Canadian High Commission, Ernst and Young, Foundation for Competitiveness and Growth Project, NCB Capital Markets, Airports Authority of Jamaica, Jamaica Money Market Brokers, Port Authority of Jamaica; and PetroCaribe Development Fund.

The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is targeting local investors through the staging of its Regional Infrastructure Conference focused on public-private partnerships (PPP).

Themed ‘Delivering Economic Growth through Partnership: Private-Sector Participation in Infrastructure Development’, the conference will be held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston from March 6 to 7.

DBJ General Manager for Public-Private Partnerships and Privatisation, Denise Arana said, globally, Governments have not been able to keep up with investments in infrastructure, hence the drive towards PPPs for financing such projects.

She informed that targeted are construction and law firms, architects, project developers, private equity fund managers, and multilateral institutions, among others.

Ms. Arana, who was addressing a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank on Tuesday (February 28), said through the staging of the conference, “we want to start the conversation and demystify public-private partnerships”.

“Yes, it is complex, and infrastructure projects take a lot of time to develop. However, there is a method. We have policies and growing experience and we want to be able to share that at the conference,” she pointed out.

Among the issues to be looked at is how locals can partner with other investors to undertake projects.

Ms. Arana noted that Jamaicans have been investing in the economy, with most of the privatisation projects over the past 10 years taken up by local interests.

She said, however, that where projects may require more capital than local investors can access, foreign investors, who may have more capital, will have the edge.

“What we are about with this conference is to say to local and regional investors, you can come to the table; you can partner with other investors,” Ms. Arana pointed out.

 

Meanwhile, Consultant, Jamaica Venture Capital Programme, Audrey Richards, said the conference, which is the first of its kind in the country, will bring together local, regional and international experts in PPP, who have successfully executed similar programmes.

“We saw this as an important collaboration to bring in some of the experts, who have done it in other markets to demonstrate to our local investor community and our local capital markets persons the kind of structures that can be developed to fund infrastructure projects,” she shared.

Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sharlene Williams, hailed the staging of the two-day event, noting that it presents opportunities for her organisation as well as other private-sector companies.

She noted that the Government must be a facilitator of development so that the private sector can benefit.

“They must put policies in place and outline their strategic priorities, and then the private sector gets involved,” she said.

PricewaterhouseCoopers is one of the partners in the staging of the conference.

Others are Caribbean Development Bank, Canadian High Commission, Ernst and Young, Foundation for Competitiveness and Growth Project, NCB Capital Markets, Airports Authority of Jamaica, Jamaica Money Market Brokers, Port Authority of Jamaica; and PetroCaribe Development Fund.

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