Jun 29, 2016 News
As the Government forges ahead with plans for the nation’s development, it will continue to lean on crucial partners like the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for unwavering support.
This is according to Finance Minister, Winston Jordan.
He made this remark, among others, at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the CDB.
There, Jordan made it clear that the Government values the relationship with the CDB, and stressed that the entity remains a fundamental development partner in supporting Guyana’s national developmental agenda.
In recognition of this fact, the Finance Minister said that mere months after its accession to office, the APNU+AFC Government was extremely pleased to welcome a high-level team, led by CDB President, Dr. Warren Smith.
He said that the fruitful engagement led to the rapid preparation of a Mid- Term Review Strategy Paper for Guyana. The Finance Minister said that this Interim Strategy will inform a comprehensive Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for the period, 2017-2020, which will be aligned to Government’s Vision 2020.
The Finance Minister said that within the context of engagement with the CDB, it is pertinent that the coalition administration acknowledges the Bank’s role in developing and implementing the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) Programme, of which Guyana is a main beneficiary.
Jordan said that the BNTF has been a pillar in improving living conditions in rural communities in the country. The economist expressed that community-driven interventions under the programme have assisted in reducing poverty levels through focus on: Education and Human Resources Development; Water and Sanitation; and Community Access Roads.
The Finance Minister said that the Government looks forward to the strengthening of the BNTF Programme across the Region. In this regard, he said that the early replenishment of the Special Development Fund (SDF) will signify new hope for the development of catalytic projects which can be designed towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and meeting other international milestones.
“I salute the efforts of the Bank in exploring options for creating easier terms of borrowing within the Special Development Fund (SDF). Guyana supports the recommendations of the Bank to reduce SDF lending rates from 2.5 percent to one percent for Groups One and Two countries, and from two percent to one percent for Group Three countries,” Jordan expressed.
He added, “The Government also welcomes the Bank’s options for co-financing and is grateful that the Bank is considering this funding mechanism under the UK Caribbean Infrastructure Programme (UK-CIF) and SDF initiatives. This would contribute to increasing the resource envelope available to Guyana in the form of loans co-financed by a grant element.”
The Finance Minister said that he is cognizant of the growing CDB portfolio in Guyana and the level of discomfort at the rate of implementation of the projects.
“We would like to recommend that the Bank reconsiders placing a permanent resident representative in the country. This would release the stress under which the monitoring of the current Investment Portfolio finds itself, as well as improve the efficiency and effectiveness of communication between the Bank and the Government,” the economist expressed.
The Finance Minister said that as the Government continues its plans for Guyana’s economic development, it will look to partners like the CDB to help build a green and prosperous nation in the coming years.
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