PRESS RELEASE: Kingston, Jamaica. 15th December, 2017 – The extremely active 2017 hurricane season and the devastation of several Caribbean islands by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, have brought into sharp focus, the need for infrastructure development focused on resilience, Nigel Holness, Managing Director, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, Jamaica has said.
Speaking at the Caribbean Infrastructure Forum (CARIF) hosted by IJ Global and New Energy Events at the Hilton Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica, December 11-12, 2017, Mr. Holness said that it is clear that provision has to be made to help Caribbean islands face the adversities of local conditions such as weather and infrastructure systems have to be improved to meet the social, humanitarian and economic demands of the islands.
“Infrastructure development is an area in which CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank is well vested”, he declared as he told forum delegates of his bank’s readiness to support projects which build resilience and infrastructure and to ensure they are “credit enhanced to attract broader investor participation and unlock the full potential of infrastructural development in the Caribbean. It is a critical driver of economic growth, raising the quality of infrastructure by one standard deviation, increases the growth rate by several percentage points and improving the quality of our infrastructure will boost our economic growth.”
In the Caribbean, Mr. Holness noted, “a number of islands are in need of improvements in infrastructure as they are old, inadequate and in many situations, insufficient to meet today’s population needs.”
Pim van der Burg, Managing Director Corporate & Investment Banking at CIBC FirstCaribbean leads a dedicated team of Investment Banking professionals. He told Forum delegates that “CIBC FirstCaribbean will partner with our corporate and sovereign clients to find solutions for these challenges facing the Caribbean, as the region’s government and business leaders search for ways to restore and strengthen the infrastructure in our region.”
He continued: ”Our bank has a strong track record of advising on and financing complex infrastructure projects executed some significant advisory and capital markets mandates and won multiple awards which included the prestigious IJ Global ‘2016 North America Port Deal of the Year Award’ for its role in the US$265 million Kingston Container Terminal transaction.“
The CARIF 2017 focused on a cross section of topics related to various infrastructure sectors including energy and utilities, airports, water systems, healthcare delivery and tourism. Panel discussions covered issues such as the Caribbean outlook and demand infrastructure and related services, creating competitive advantages, logistics, procurement, financing, value creation and climate resilience infrastructure planning.
With guest addresses on successive days by Hon. Audley Shaw, Minister of Finance & Public Service and Hon. Michael Lee-Chin, Jamaican/Canadian Entrepreneur President & Chairman of Portland Holdings; Heads of Government – Hon. David Burt, Premier & Minister of Finance, Bermuda and Hon. Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, Premier, Turks & Caicos Islands also addressed the Forum. CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank and KPMG were title sponsors of CARIF.