From l to r: Honourable Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade & Immigration looks on as Chief Executive Officer, CARICOM Development Fund, Mr. Rodinald Soomer and Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda the Honourable Gaston Browne sign the financing Agreement.
Bridgetown, Barbados, February 18th, 2020 – The Chief Executive Officer of the CARICOM Development Fund, Mr. Rodinald Soomer today signed the third financing agreement with the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda the Honourable Gaston Browne under the CDF’s second funding cycle, bringing the total value of funds committed to that Member State to US$1.39 million within the current cycle.
The grant of US$80,000 is for an institutional review and capacity building support to the Antigua and Barbuda Development Bank (ABDB), which is expected to set the stage for the consideration by the CDF of concessionary loan assistance to that institution for onlending to the SME sector.
Antigua’s Country Assistance Programme (CAP) with the CDF now consists of:
- A grant of US$1.0 million to co-finance the construction of an 800 KW solar-diesel-battery storage hybrid power plant on Barbuda:
- A grant of US$310,000 to facilitate growth of bilateral trade with Suriname under a technical cooperation agreement between the two countries; and
- A grant for technical assistance support to the ABDB, valued at US$80,000.
The CDF has provided concessionary financing to SMEs mainly through national development banks in member countries, including Belize, Grenada, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia. This is the first such intervention under consideration for Antigua and Barbuda.
About CARICOM Development Fund – The CARICOM Development Fund (CDF), established in 2008, is a key developmental mechanism in the architecture of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) committed to achieving its vision to lead in providing effective, efficient and sustainable solutions that address the challenges faced by disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors participating in the CSME. In so doing its mission is to assist its Member States (namely Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago) maximise the benefits arising from participation in the CSME, by reducing intra-regional disparities through effective partnerships and the provision of financial and technical assistance.