Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda the Honourable Gaston Browne and the Chief Executive Officer of the CARICOM Development Fund, Mr. Rodinald Soomer, on Tuesday signed the third financing agreement under the CDF’s second funding cycle, bringing the total value of funds committed to Antigua and Barbuda to US$1.39 million within the current cycle.
The grant of US$80,000 is for an institutional review and capacity building support to the Antigua and Barbuda Development Bank (ABDB), which is expected to set the stage for the consideration by the CDF of concessionary loan assistance to that institution for onlending to the SME sector.
Antigua’s Country Assistance Programme (CAP) with the CDF now consists of:
1. A grant of US$1.0 million to co-finance the construction of an 800 KW solar-diesel-battery storage hybrid power plant on Barbuda;
2. A grant of US$310,000 to facilitate growth of bilateral trade with Suriname under a technical cooperation agreement between the two countries; and
3. A grant for technical assistance support to the ABDB, valued at US$80,000.
The CDF has provided concessionary financing to SMEs mainly through national development banks in member countries, including Belize, Grenada, Dominica and St. Lucia. This is the first such intervention under consideration for Antigua and Barbuda.