January 28, 2014
IFC and CDB Join Forces to Support Infrastructure PPPs in the Caribbean

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, last Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to support public-private partnerships that are crucial to building better infrastructure in the Caribbean.{{more}}

Well-structured public-private partnerships — agreements between governments and firms to provide infrastructure and public services — leverage the expertise and capital of the private sector to enhance the quality and efficiency of the public sector. The Memorandum of Understanding between IFC and CDB establishes close cooperation between these two institutions to advise Caribbean governments at the national and sub national levels in the development of new infrastructure projects with private participation.

“In the face of fiscal challenges, public-private partnerships have become an important tool to help governments work with the private sector to meet the needs of their communities,” said Kirk Ifill, IFC Resident Representative for the Southern Caribbean. “This collaboration between IFC and CDB opens up exciting opportunities and allows IFC to share its considerable international experience.”

Under the memorandum, IFC and CDB would collaborate in a variety of areas, including helping to conduct due diligence, identify suitable private sector partners and structure projects with government authorities to ensure a transparent and competitive bidding process. Renewable energy, education, transportation, and water and sanitation projects are the focus of cooperation, though the memorandum does not exclude other potential sectors.

Dr. William Warren Smith, president of the Caribbean Development Bank said, “CDB is pleased to collaborate with IFC on this initiative. By encouraging and supporting cooperative ventures between the public and private sectors, we are also promoting a strategic response to economic growth and job creation – two major development concerns for this region.”

This initiative is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), which has been an important partner in providing financial support for IFC’s work in the Caribbean. The intent is to leverage DFATD funding, alongside other donor funding mobilized by CDB and IFC, to promote public-private partnerships in the Caribbean.

“There is tremendous potential in the Caribbean. By working with IFC and CDB, we can help support efforts to unleash economic growth,” said Mark Mostovac, Counsellor (Development) and Deputy Director of Operations for DFATD’s Caribbean Program. “The goal is to leverage the private sector to help foster development by providing infrastructure, improving efficiency and lowering the cost of service delivery in the Caribbean.”

Since 2000, IFC has committed $2.1 billion in the Caribbean, including $515.8 million in mobilization. IFC supports public-private partnerships in energy, transport and logistics infrastructure. We also implement programs to improve the business climate, build skills of local entrepreneurs, and promote access to finance. Our Caribbean strategy focuses on promoting job creation and inclusive growth; helping the private sector respond to the global financial crisis; supporting innovation, competitiveness and regional integration; and providing investments that help companies adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. We have offices in Trinidad, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic serving 14 countries across the Caribbean.