A delegation of US government officials last week visited five countries in the region as part of efforts to advance private sector investment and economic security as part of the Growth in the Americas initiative.
From Tuesday, October 13 to Thursday, October 15, Chief Executive Officer of the US International Development Finance Corporation Adam Boehler led the delegation on their visits to Suriname, Guyana, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.
The delegation, which included US Department of Treasury Assistant Secretary — International Markets Mitchell A Silk and senior officials from the State Department, Department of Homeland Security, US Export-Import Bank, and National Security Council, interacted with various government officials and private sector interest groups from the different countries.
“The delegation will explore support for private sector-led investment in infrastructure, energy, technology, and women’s economic empowerment. At a meeting last year with Caribbean leaders to discuss economic issues, President Trump reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to working with its partners in the region to foster economic growth, counter predatory investment practices, and strengthen security cooperation,” a release from the DFC shared prior to the visit.
The DFC further pointed out that its current portfolio in the Caribbean spans more than US$489 million invested in projects ranging from small business lending, power generation, agriculture, and low-income mortgage lending.
“The delegation will explore support for private sector-led investment in infrastructure, energy, technology, and women’s economic empowerment”— US International Development Finance Corporation
While in Suriname, Boehler met with President Chandrikapersad Santokhi to discuss opportunities to maximise DFC tools in supporting economic growth and COVID-19 recovery in the country.
The delegation then flew to Guyana where it held meetings with business leaders to discuss the next steps on a recently signed Growth in the Americas memorandum of understanding (MOU) between their respective governments.
During the meeting with representatives of Guyana’s Private Sector Commission, Boehler pointed out that the DFC had already highlighted several investment initiatives, including bringing down electricity costs as well as boosting agriculture and supporting infrastructure development.
Later, at its meeting with Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness, the US delegation noted its interest in investing in telecommunications, water, energy, and economic security opportunities in the region.
At its next itinerant stop, in Haiti, the delegation joined private sector representatives to discuss ways to support poverty reduction and economic growth through sustainable development.
Finally, in the Dominican Republic, Boehler signed an MOU with President Luis Abinader to advance the Growth in the Americas programme in that country. As part of the MOU, both countries will collaborate on mobilising investments in tourism, energy, and other infrastructure projects that will strengthen key industries, create jobs, and bolster the local economy.