PM Douglas congratulates CDB for continued focus in promoting sustainable economic development and reducing poverty

Photo of CDB Board of Governors with Bahamas Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Hubert Ingraham

NASSAU, BAHAMAS, MAY 24, 2010 (CUOPM) – The year 2009 has proven to be quite an amazing year when Caribbean economies had to battle with the lagging impact of the global financial crisis and economic decline transmitted mainly through the decline in tourist arrivals and falling Foreign Direct Investment as well as the adverse impact of the global financial crisis on the offshore financial sector.

“I characterize the year 2009 as amazing however, not because of the enormity of the impact of these events but because of the scale and forward-looking nature of the responses that our countries were able to muster,” St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas told the Plenary Session of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

He told the meeting that opened Wednesday in Nassau, The Bahamas, that some of the small island nations of the Bank were forced to seek external financing; others sought even greater bilateral financing from friendly governments, while still others tapped the regional capital markets.

“These actions were coupled with major adjustments domestically to assist the most vulnerable in our societies. All in all, we were all forced to take a hard look at our fiscal and debt positions and make difficult decisions as to the way forward. These actions called for courageous leadership and foresight,” said Prime Minister Douglas, in his capacity as Governor for St. Kitts and Nevis on the CDB Board of Governors.

“In this connection I must congratulate the Caribbean Development Bank for the tremendous role it continues to play in supporting the Borrowing Member Countries (BMC’s) during this period. I am certain that history will commend the Bank for its most effective response which included but was not limited to the increase of the lending limit on individual projects and an increase in loan disbursements,” said the St. Kitts and Nevis leader.

Dr. Douglas in examining the performance of the Bank during 2009 observed that the execution of programmes and initiatives has continued unabated as the economic infrastructure projects continue to be improved, the private sector is being developed, the support of agriculture continues, social development is being fostered and regional cooperation and integration remains high on the agenda.

“I therefore wish to congratulate the management and staff of the Bank for the continued focus on the core mandate of the bank in promoting sustainable economic development and reducing poverty,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

He said that the Bank’s Audited Statement of Comprehensive Income indicates that despite the financial and economic difficulties of 2009, the Bank was able to return operating income before adjustment for derivatives and foreign exchange translation for the year of $30.4 million and $22.2 million after the adjustments.

“I believe that the Bank has shown excellent stewardship and therefore the requested and subsequently approved General Capital Increase is indeed justified in light of the performance of the institution and the needs of the borrowing Member Countries,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

He expressed thanks to CDB’s Vice President Brompton for his sterling services over the years and congratulated the President, Dr. Compton Bourne in particular, on his leadership of change and also the management and staff of the Bank for a commendable performance.

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