More investments expected as USAID, CARICOM partner on new US$8.6M project


More private investments are expected in the Caribbean through a new US$8.6 million project that is geared at developing a resilient business environment that is attractive to investors.

This project is being facilitated by the United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development Eastern and Southern Caribbean Mission (USAID/ESC) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat.

Officially named the Caribbean Business Enabling Environment Reform (CBEE-R) project, this initiative will see the private sector and governments across the region working to develop an improved enabling environment for resilient business and investment.

It will also allow the private sector to be engaged on policy assessment, development, and implementation.

A press release from the US Embassy in Georgetown stated that climate variability is a global challenge that affects the region’s economic growth, food security, public health, and livelihoods.

As such, building resilience to prepare and respond to the impacts of climate change takes many forms and relies on strong and innovative partners.

Importantly, the release said that significantly constrained economic growth across the Eastern and Southern Caribbean has created the circumstances for unsustainable high public borrowing. Cognisant of this, the CBEE-R initiative will focus on areas and reforms that will have the greatest effect on vulnerable populations and will provide economic opportunities for communities and marginalised groups.

“This initiative will work with businesses and governments to undertake reforms that catalyze economic growth while simultaneously building resilience to disasters and improving risk mitigation in order to create sustainable, strong Caribbean economies,” U.S. Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, CARICOM Deputy Secretary General Dr. Armstrong Alexis was also quoted as saying, “The CBEE-R project will assess the regional business climate as a function of electricity costs, the digital economy, digital financial services, and access to finance, and related policy changes necessary to attract investment and to sustain a healthy business climate throughout CARICOM.”

Regional Representative for USAID/ESC Clinton D. White also reportedly noted that this project is part of the suites of programmes offered by USAID that meaningfully impacts people.

It was noted that the USAID works across the Eastern and Southern Caribbean to support the increase in domestic resource mobilisation necessary to promote social and economic development.

This effort will complement USAID’s other programs that accelerate private sector engagement and economic growth—by strengthening a stable and supportive foundation for domestic and international investment leading to further growth in jobs and incomes.

The USAID/ESC manages programs in 11 countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, The Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago.

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