FIVE executive directors from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) visited TT between May 27 – 28. The IDB’s board is made up of 14 public officials tasked with representing the IDB’s 48 member countries and who are appointed by the IDB’s Board of Governors.
They are responsible for the oversight of all of the IDB’s operations, and their duties include approving the overall budget, the organizational structure, loan proposals and more.
The IDB executive directors’ visit was led by Selwin Hart, the executive director with responsibility for Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica. Two other executive directors and two alternative executive directors representing the countries of Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, the United States of America, Brazil, and Suriname participated in the visit, altogether representing 55 per cent of the voting power of the IDB’s Board.
Over the course of the two-day visit, the team met with existing clients of the IDB Group, conducted site visits to both ongoing and recently completed projects executed by different windows of the IDB, and met with high-level representatives from across the private sector, civil society, and the government.
The delegation participated in a project site visit to a US$790,000 operation being executed by the Cropper Foundation in coordination with the IDB Lab called “Making Agriculture Profitable and Sustainable.”
Its objective is to provide an integrated approach to sustainable implementation of climate-smart agricultural practices by addressing the critical need to access a higher value channel which incentivizes farmers to make the required changes.
One innovative feature of the project is that it will be piloting a certification program for locally grown produce that covers food safety (pesticide and microbial testing), social conditions, and environmental conservation.
Partners working with Cropper Foundation to implement this project include: the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (Cariri), the National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (NAMDEVCO), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and Massy Stores.
Executive Director Selwin Hart noted that, “The objective of this visit was to sensitize my colleagues on the Board to the major development challenges and opportunities facing Trinidad and Tobago and the role of the IDB in supporting the country. Visits like these are essential to improve decision-making on issues affecting Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean countries.”
Hart thanked Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis and Rocío Medina-Bolívar, the IDB Group’s country representative, for facilitating the visit.
“The support of the colleagues who accompanied me is critical to advancing the Caribbean’s agenda at the Bank and they will return to Washington DC with a much better understanding of how the IDB can better serve the people of Trinidad and Tobago,” Hart said.
The directors were accompanied by Ayleen Alleyne-Ovid, senior counsellor for TT at the IDB as well as Therese Turner-Jones, the General Manager of the IDB’s Caribbean country department.
The delegation also included members of the IDB’s migration initiative team formed earlier this year to support Latin American and Caribbean countries receiving large numbers of migrants.
Turner-Jones said she was pleased at the opportunity to see some of the work done under the completed Neighborhood Upgrading Programme, to discover ongoing interest of financial institutions in using technology and fintech to better serve their clients, and to observe that Trinidad and Tobago was the first Caribbean country visited by the IDB’s migration initiative team.