Minister Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn makes the case to the IDB for continued private sector support, economic diversification, education advancement and urban revitalisation among others
The Honourable Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn, Minister in the Ministry of Planning and Development was appointed Trinidad & Tobago’s Alternate Governor to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in January 2020 after having been appointed to the Planning Ministry. Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley is now T&T’s Governor to the IDB.
At the 9th Pre-Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Board of Governors of the IDB in Barbados from February 6-7, 2020, Minister Crichlow-Cockburn represented Trinidad & Tobago and addressed the Caucus of Governors as well as the President and Executives of the Bank.
The Minister’s statement not only pinpointed the need to strengthen the Caribbean’s partnership with the IDB, she also took the opportunity to highlight the value of designing institutional, organizational and regulatory frameworks that are conducive to private sector development. The position taken was that risk capital investments should be explored further with Trinbagonian businesses as an option to the traditional lending based financing model. The environment for risk capital investments and the infrastructure to direct more capital towards investment opportunities can be improved so MSMEs can attract sufficient financing, as many are unable to meet the lending criteria of traditional financial institutions.
As such, it was added that the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) of the IDB invest in partnerships with the Private Sector focusing on firm commitments and actions needed to achieve the objective of strengthening financing for the private sector which can in turn provide investment opportunities for these businesses. The recommendations were well received by the Caucus and the IDB Executive.
Discussions also focused on activities in the pipeline for IDB and T&T collaboration on the following projects, most of which are expected to be finalized in the near future:
- Phase II of the Support for a Seamless Education System which includes an Education Advancement Programme for the construction of 5 ECCE centres in Tobago.
- Urban Upgrading and Revitalisation Programme geared to improve the quality of life of low and middle-income households in the main urban corridors of Trinidad and Tobago.
- The discussion on the Water Supply Improvement Programme is also progressing between the Bank and T&T Government to develop the loan proposal that is geared towards achieving a continuous (24/7) water supply to the country.
The representative delegation from Trinidad and Tobago also consisted of Ms. Ayleen Alleyene-Ovid, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Planning and Development; Ms. Melissa Bertrand, Senior Planning Officer (Ag,) in the Ministry of Planning and Development; Mrs. Denese Toby-Quashie, Administrator, Finance and the Economy, Tobago House of Assembly; Ms. Tashay Francis, Assistant Manager, Economic Management Division, Ministry of Finance and Ms. Terry-Ann Atkins-Huggins, Counsellor for Trinidad & Tobago at the IDB.