CARTEGENA, COLOMBIA- Prime Minister the Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar began her official engagements at the Sixth Summit of the Americas this afternoon with the signing of an agreement for Trinidad and Tobago to become a Special Member Country of the Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF).
This follows a decision by Cabinet on February 9th, 2012 that the Minister of Finance implement the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Andean Development Bank for the subscription of common capital and expanded country membership in the institution.
The signing of the loan agreement clears the way for a portfolio of local government projects to become eligible for CAF financing. These include projects regarding infrastructure of roads, transportation, telecommunications, power generation and transmission, water and sanitation.
Present at the signing were Dr. the Honourable Surujrattan Rambachan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Communications, His Excellency Neil Parsan and Senator the Honourable Kevin Ramnarine, Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs. Also present were CAF’s President Enrique Garcia, Corporate Secretary, Mr. Andres Rugeles; Director Representative in Colombia; Victor Traverso and Advisor of the Office of the President, Mr. Juan Pablo Rodriguez.
The Prime Minister indicated that the occasion of the Sixth Summit of the Americas was an ideal opportunity for Trinidad and Tobago to sign such an Agreement given the theme of this year’s Summit ‘Connecting the Americas; Partners for Prosperity.’ She stated, “The signing of this Agreement sends a strong message of Trinidad and Tobago’s commitment at the highest political level, to deepening regional integration as well as south-south cooperation in advancing development across Latin America and the Caribbean.”She stressed that Trinidad and Tobago is poised to take on an increasingly active and leading role in strengthening inter-American relations and in the pursuit of fruitful partnerships.
The CAF is a development bank established in 1970 that currently consists of eighteen countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, as well as fourteen private banks from the Andean region. The organization promotes a model of sustainable development through credit operations, grants and technical support, and offers financial structuring to public and private sector projects in Latin America. Based in Caracas, Venezuela, CAF has offices in Buenos Aires, La Paz, Brasilia, Bogota, Quito, Madrid, Panama City, Lima and Montevideo.
A CAF Mission, headed by its President L. Enrique Garci, is scheduled to visit Port of Spain from May 16-18 2012 to further explore the possibilities arising from Trinidad and Tobago becoming Special member Country. The Minister of Finance affirms that the signing of the Agreement at the Sixth Summit will provide added impetus to these discussions.
Photographs of Prime Minister the Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar at the signing of the CAF agreement will follow in separate email.