BARBADOS / ST LUCIA – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has promised closer collaboration with the government of Saint Lucia to facilitate economic recovery and build resilience as the country navigates the COVID-19 pandemic and other development challenges.
The commitment comes following the first official meeting between CDB president Dr Gene Leon and Saint Lucia’s newly elected prime minister Philip J. Pierre and members of his Cabinet at the office of the prime minister in Castries today.
The discussions focused on deepening the longstanding partnership between the bank and the Saint Lucian government to achieve key development priorities. The dialogue covered opportunities for CDB to provide financial support, technical assistance, and policy advice to drive recovery efforts.
The consultations also included a review of CDB’s Saint Lucia project portfolio and exploration of the scope for accelerated implementation. CDB also agreed to revisit its country strategy for Saint Lucia in light of possible new policy priorities and evolving needs.
President Leon said: “In spite of the conjuncture of events that Saint Lucia now faces, including COVID-19, the impact of climate change and the difficulties overcoming structural challenges, CDB is committed to providing holistic support for the economic recovery process, and I think there is ample room for us to be optimistic that, with discipline and consistent commitment, we can get past this trough.”
Saint Lucian prime minister Philip J. Pierre said: “The CDB has always been a good partner to us and as a new government and Cabinet we look forward to their partnership as we address priorities and seek to improve the general fiscal situation in our country, and we look forward to continued engagement.”
The meeting with the Cabinet is among the events on the agenda of president Leon’s official visit to Saint Lucia, marking his first bank mission to his native country since he assumed leadership of the regional institution in May 2021.
President Leon has been accompanied by the CDB vice-president of operations, Isaac Solomon, director of economics, Ian Durant, and head of corporate communications, Camille Taylor. The delegation will also meet with representatives from the ministry of finance and tour CDB’s current projects in Saint Lucia.