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CARIF 2020 ends on high note…positive outlook for infrastructure development in the Caribbean

A positive outlook for infrastructure investment and development in the region saw the Caribbean Infrastructure Finance Forum (CARIF 2020), January 21-22, 2020, at the AC Marriott, Kingston, Jamaica, ending on a high note.

Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness (centre) on a panel at the Caribbean Infrastructure Finance Forum last week.

Over two days, a world class roster of speakers provided updates on current and new projects to over 200 participants including policymakers, developers, investors and providers of financing.

Hosted by IJ Global the infrastructure arm of Euromoney Institutional Investor, and New Energy Events, and sponsored by CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank and KPMG, the conference heard from the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, about the Greater Infrastructure Development Programme which will “integrate existing infrastructure and local users, the application of technology and the development of smaller infrastructure to aid in continued maintenance.”

In his remarks, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre) spoke about the application of technology and the development of smaller infrastructure to aid in continued maintenance

Colette Delaney, CEO of CIBC FirstCaribbean lauded “creative financial solutions helping to boost Caribbean resilience”. She pointed to the initial public offering listing of the Wigton Wind Farm in Jamaica as “supporting increased local investment in renewable energy resources”.

“This project is one of the more advanced in the English speaking Caribbean and currently Jamaica generates 17 per cent of its power from renewable energy through wind and solar installations”, Delaney noted.

CEO of CIBC FirstCaribbean, Colette Delaney, speaking at the Caribbean Infrastructure Finance Forum last week.

In Barbados, she said, the government in a recent debt restructuring exercise negotiated natural disaster clauses into new domestic and external bonds and used debt restructuring to strengthen its protection against natural disasters.

Noting that CIBC FirstCaribbean has supported infrastructure projects with transaction values in excess of US$3 billion over the last five years in sectors spanning energy, utilities renewable energy, ports, airports, hotels and hospital development, wind and solar energy development, Delaney said the bank is “the Caribbean’s financial partner” and was pleased to support stakeholders across the region in helping to build sustainability and resilience.

A section of the audience at the Caribbean Infrastructure Finance Forum last week.

CARIF 2020, she said, was “both timely and crucial” given the challenges being faced by the region with respect to climate change, natural disasters, environment and health concerns and the urgent need for “the right policies, practices and partnerships” to help the region tackle the issues ahead of us “head on”.

The conference attendees heard about planned development in other sectors and islands from other presenters including Joseph Hew, Minister of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure, Cayman Islands Government; Kye Rymer, Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities, Government of the Virgin Islands; Emanuel DaRosa, President & CEO, Jamaica Public Service Company and Sarah-Jade Govia, Water Sector Specialist, Ministry of Public Utilities, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Topics spanned innovation and sustainability, financing of infrastructure development, healthcare, energy, resilience, transportation, port concessions, airport public private partnerships, water and wastewater treatment solutions and business process outsourcing.