IDB reaffirms commitment to TT development
The Inter-American Development Bank has reaffirmed its commitment to a highly collaborative and productive working relationship with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. In its 2018 report to Planning and Development Minister, the Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis, the IDB noted that the Bank’s US$486.9 million portfolio with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago included seven (7) Sovereign Guaranteed Loans for a total of US$436.6 million. This sum covered projects in the Water and Sanitation, Public Service Modernization, Health and Trade Sectors. The portfolio also included Non-Sovereign Guaranteed operations totaling US$44.8 million and Technical Cooperation grants amounting to US$5.46 million respectively.
The Bank’s report indicated that disbursements under the loan portfolio amounted to approximately US$77 million, which exceeded the projected targets by approximately 10 percent, but represented a decline from 2017 by almost 25 percent. The greatest portion of the loan disbursement went to the Multi-Phase Wastewater Rehabilitation Programme. According to the report, “whilst the achievement of the 2018 disbursement targets reflects the impact of successful collaborative interventions between the authorities and the Country Office, the declining trend is indicative of the maturing of the portfolio and the urgent need for replenishment.“
The IDB’s Country Representative Rocio Medina Bolivar acknowledged that while there were no new Sovereign Guaranteed Loan approvals in 2018, the Bank approved one (1) IDB Invest partial credit guarantee equivalent of US$29.8M, three (3) Technical Cooperation agreements to the tune of US$454.K and two (2) additional IDB Lab projects at a cost of US$553K respectively. Included amongst the Technical Cooperation agreements was the sum of US$200K for emergency assistance due to severe flooding in Trinidad and Tobago, and a further US$3.9K for the facilitation of knowledge exchange in the Creative Industries.
Medina Bolivar pointed out that the Bank’s engagement in Trinidad and Tobago went beyond the Government to include an outreach to the private sector as well. She noted that during 2018 there were four (4) exploratory missions involving investment officers and senior management officials targeting stakeholders across the banking, manufacturing, tourism and energy sectors.
Commenting on the report, Minister Robinson-Regis was optimistic that the level of cooperation and successes achieved in 2018 would be replicated in 2019, and opined that the Bank had always been a valued and trusted partner in Trinidad and Tobago’s development.