Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis Dr Denzil Douglas has been elected the new Chairman of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and he has stressed the need for the acceleration of disbursements for approved projects.
“Going forward the bank will need to accelerate the pace of disbursements in respect of projects that were already approved by the Board of Director some three, four, five years ago,” Douglas said at the closing ceremony for the 44th Annual Meeting of the CDB’s Board of Governors, which concluded on Thursday.
Douglas stated that while there is no shortage of good ideas and intentions, implementation was required. He urged that the bank “seize the present and emerging opportunities to expand the use of the Policy-Based loans and guarantee instruments and to develop new products tailored to the needs of the clientele it serves.”
The new Chairman noted that the bank’s performance was tied to tackling the major issues and specifically high electricity costs, high unemployment and the need to breathe new life into the elusive goal of private sector development.
He added that for borrowing and non-borrowing members of the bank, a trusted partnership was ultimately desirable, which was highlighted in the strides that the bank had made to implement several of the reforms.
Douglas added that the annual Development Effectiveness Report was good intentioned but noted that enhancements to the system were still needed to ensure full integration of the “wealth of information” which he stated came from these reports. He continued to speak optimistically of the CDB’s future, noting that the economic recovery of St Kitts and Nevis was tied to the creativity and innovation of the CDB.
During the 44th Annual Meeting Suriname was in attendance as a full member of the CDB for the first time. Suriname’s entrance speaks to one of the banks strategies in expanding business and partnerships, Douglas said.
Douglas replaces Guyana’s Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh as Chairman. The 45th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors will be held in St Kitts and Nevis in 2015.