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'We believe in Jamaica' - IDB president marks 45 years of partnership with official visit

Published:Friday | December 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer

Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has indicated that the multilateral entity has a firm belief in Jamaica and it's prospects for growth.

With Jamaica and the IDB celebrating 45 years of partnership, Moreno arrived in the island yesterday for an official visit.

The visit will include tours of IDB-funded projects, a ground-breaking ceremony at the construction site of the new IDB offices in Kingston, and a cultural reception for IDB partners, stakeholders and staff.

Larger office in Jamaica

"We put our money where our mouth is. At the moment, we have US$1.3 billion here in Jamaica, more than the World Bank and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) put together, so we believe in Jamaica, and tomorrow we will be discussing our own building because we need a larger and a better office here in Jamaica," he said.

"We are focused on development which means either supporting the Government to do public-sector works and financing those works or renovating institutions or consolidating them but more importantly, the biggest issue for Jamaica is growth," Moreno continued.

Shortly after his arrival, the IDB head visited the Jamaica-German Automotive School (JAGAS) and the construction site for the 129-room Marriott Hotel in New Kingston.

Loan agreement

Last month, the IDB signed a US$6.75-million loan agreement with Caribe Hospitality S.A. for the Caribe Hospitality Kingston Program to construct the hotel.

"I want to see projects like this, from people being trained to being better mechanics, to being better technicians, to seeing a hotel like this being built, thanks to a loan from the IDB," Moreno said.

"Equally, here you have a state-of-the-art building, the most energy efficient as you can get, and it will be the most energy-efficient building here in Jamaica, but equally, you have a lot of young people who come from some parts of the poor neighbourhoods of Jamaica that are having an opportunity to get a job and to be better," he added. "Beyond the brick, it's the life of people and how it can be transformed and how projects like this can help us."

Moreno leaves the island this afternoon.

Stephen Facey (right),
chairman and CEO of Pan Jamaica Investment Trust, and Stefan Wright
(left), lead investment officer, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB),
converse with IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno, during a tour of the
Caribe Hospitality Marriott at Park Close, New Kingston, on his arrival
in Jamaica yesterday. - Photo by Rudolph Brown/Photographer

Peter Phillips (left), minister of finance and planning, greets Luis
Alberto Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank, on his
arrival in Jamaica at the Norman Manley International Airport
yesterday. - Photo by Rudolph Brown/Photographer