Government and CDF sign 18.4 million dollar loan agreement

Agreements were signed on Tuesday that will mean financial investments for a number of sectors including employment and agriculture export.

GIS news was on hand to witness the official signing of the 18.4 million dollar arrangement between the CARICOM Development Fund and the Ministry of Finance.

3.8 million dollars of that sum is being donated as grant funds making the balance a concessionary loan at 3% interest.

Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit listed the areas which will be improved by the funding.

“The amount being received is US 7.1M equivalent to EC 8.4 million. Of this sum, approximately EC 3.8 million is grant. The projects we have chosen to finance are additional works at the Melville Hall Airport, support for the operationalisation of pack houses, which is critical to the export of our agricultural produce; upgrading of the services provided by the Dominica Bureau of Standards; support to the AID Bank, and a line of credit to private businesses to be administered by the AID Bank. A number of the productive sectors would benefit from this facility at the AID Bank,” he explained.

Chief Executive Officer of the CARICOM Development Fund, Lorne McDonnough says the CDF understands exactly what this loan/grant facility means to both Dominica and the region.

He noted that large developing countries or LDCs are also part of the target group for the CDF’s financial assistance programme.

“These agreements between the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica and the CARICOM Development Fund totalling EC 18.4 million dollars are tangible evidence of the community mechanisms at work. This event is a milestone in the process of deepening our integration in CARICOM as Dominica is the fourth of the six country interventions in the OECS which CDF is programmed to undertake during the first funding cycle. This EC 18.4 million intervention is significant. It crystallises the promises of the Revised Treaty which was reaffirmed in 2006 at the launch of the CARICOM Single Market in Jamaica. The community undertook to provide technical and financial assistance to [large developing countries] to minimise CSME-related dislocations, expand their capacity and improve their participation in the CSME.”

Dominica’s Finance Minister, Hon. Skerrit used the opportunity to highlight his Government’s financial prudence.

“Rest assured that this Government, which I have the honour and pleasure to lead, has a very solid record of accounting for every single dollar we receive-whether through tax revenue or development partners and we will no doubt be in a position to report to you on the proper use of the resources which you [are making available to us]”

Also present at that ceremony was the CARICOM Development Fund’s legal counsel, Arden Warner and the AID Bank’s General Manager, Julius Corbette along with several Government officials.