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IDB loan to improve business climate, blue economy in The Bahamas

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) yesterday approved the disbursement of a US$200 million loan to The Bahamas.

The loan will facilitate the promotion of competitiveness and environmental resiliency in that country, as well as improving the business climate, supporting the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) continuity, modernising the institutional and legal framework to protect the natural resources, and economic diversification by promoting scientific and institutional developments in the Blue Economy.

The Bahamas (File photo)

IDB also aims to support the mandate and vision of the Bahamas Economic Recovery Committee — to create a resilient, dynamic, inclusive, and sustainable economy and promote private sector-led growth under a stronger comprehensive environmental framework.

“This is the first of two operations under the modality of Programmatic Policy-Based Loan (PBP), to be contractually independent and technically related,” a release from the IDB states.

(File photo)

The project aims to improve and modernise the business climate by strengthening the transparency and governance of capital markets and facilitating the process of obtaining business licences for low-risk companies. In addition, it will support the continuity of MSMEs and the strengthening of their technical capacities in the short and medium term.

“At the same time the programme modernises the legal framework established for environmental resiliency, with the creation of the Ministry of the Environment, new legislation for control of plastic pollution, environmental impact assessment, sustainable procurement practices and the promotion of scientific resources to develop the Blue Economy,” the IDB explained.

“The loan will facilitate the promotion of competitiveness and environmental resiliency in that country, as well as improving the business climate, supporting the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) continuity…”

— Inter-American Development Bank

Another key focus of the programme is to support the governance and financial management of Marine Protected Areas, which is part of the ambitious strategic goal of the Bahamas to protect 20 per cent of its marine and coastal environment by 2020

The policy reforms, which form part of the programme’s objectives, are a combination of initiatives that support both public and private sector entities, and strengthen the environment of doing business in a sustainable and resilient manner while protecting the natural assets of the country.

A grouper swims off the coast of New Providence, The Bahamas, with sharks and a scuba diver nearby. (Photo: Shane Gross for The Nature Conservancy)

As a result of the loan programme, stakeholders in the Blue Economy sector will benefit from the initiatives to promote its development, and the citizens of the country, in general, will enjoy the benefits of the marine protected areas (better natural barriers for environmental resilience and more sustainable fishing) including positive externalities from the measures to control plastic pollution.