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IDB and IDB Invest Boards Mandate Historic Reforms, IDB Invest Capital Increase Proposal

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Roadmap for new, 21st-century business model will enable Bank to expand ambitious, business-friendly climate action, protect biodiversity, increase green finance, and better advance gender equality

New business model goes hand-in-hand with the mandated path for a capital-increase proposal for IDB Invest that will allow the Bank’s private-sector arm to be more responsive to the region’s needs, dramatically scale up private sector investment and boost creation of formal jobs, the details of which will be presented to the Boards of Executive Directors in September

Approval of a new value proposition for the Bank will empower it to better address social issues, strengthen the private sector and combat climate change

WASHINGTON – The Boards of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and IDB Invest today approved a roadmap for a series of institutional reforms for the IDB and mandated a proposal for a capital increase for IDB Invest, the Bank’s private-sector arm.

The Governors’ actions will modernize the IDB, IDB Invest and IDB Lab, our innovation laboratory, ushering in a new, 21st-century business model that will help countries across Latin America and the Caribbean more effectively address challenges, including poverty and inequality, climate change and the need for digitalization.

The proposed reforms will empower the Bank to accelerate inclusive and sustainable growth by strengthening the synergies between the public and private sectors, ensuring equal opportunities for women in areas including education, business and justice, and doing more to help countries reach net-zero-emissions targets.

“Our record year in 2021 proved how the IDB can optimize its balance sheet and mobilize resources, but the new IDB can do even better. This is a historic moment for the IDB and IDB Invest. The Boards’ actions mean we are gaining the muscle, flexibility and tools needed to support the urgent needs of Latin America and the Caribbean in the 21st century,” said IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone at the Bank’s annual meeting.

“The pandemic hit our most vulnerable citizens hard. Now the region faces rising inflation, higher global interest rates, and shifting geo-economic and geopolitical concerns. We rose to the occasion in 2020 and 2021, but we can now do even more by leveraging our strengths. Thanks to the Governors’ actions, we are now empowered to better help the region by mobilizing more private-sector resources and doing more in critical areas such as climate change and gender equality,” he said.

IDB Invest 2.0

The new business model envisioned for IDB Invest, or IDB Invest 2.0, which will be developed over the next six months and submitted to the Boards for approval this fall. The approval to advance with the new vision signifies confidence in IDB Invest’s ability to develop an even more impactful approach to development. The new model will allow it to scale up work with investors and companies throughout the region. IDB Invest’s innovative, new approach will focus on originating more impactful projects, de-risking private-sector investment, and using new financial and technical tools, to help crowd-in investment. The new business model goes hand-in-hand with the mandate for a capital increase proposal for IDB Invest, the details of which will be presented to the Boards of Executive Directors this fall.

These new capacities will help IDB Invest build on the record level of mobilizations it achieved in 2021 and enhance its role as the region’s foremost private-sector-mobilization partner for development. A more ambitious IDB Invest will work even closer with the IDB, which will also have new tools to creatively collaborate with, and support, borrowing member countries to enable business environments that attract investment and are more conducive to job-creation.

The IDB’s New Value Proposition

Reforms at IDB and IDB Invest form part of a new value proposition for the institutions, and IDB Lab, approved by the Governors that will enable the Bank to accelerate regional development by better addressing social challenges, strengthening the private sector and more ambitiously combatting climate change.

New business models at the IDB and IDB Invest will allow them to take a more sophisticated approach to collaboration. The IDB will act as a hub, linking the private-sector work of IDB Invest with partnerships and projects on the public-sector side. This will enable the Bank to better leverage trillions of dollars in private-sector assets that the region must access to successfully combat climate change.

This 21st-century business model will help the IDB promote reforms to improve social protection and health, inclusion, labor markets climate action and gender equality. It will also help the IDB work better with governments to correct market failures and structural bottlenecks that today prevent investment, improve institutions, strengthen the rule of law, and improve the business climate. This dovetails with IDB’s Invest new focus on originating socially impactful projects, de-risking them and offering them to institutional investors.

The new approach also calls for transitioning IDB Lab from an innovation lab to an innovation hub, allowing it to do more to scale up the impact of private-sector projects and leverage its capacity to take on risk to do experimental work in frontier sectors and invest in early-stage projects. IDB Lab’s agility and ability to respond rapidly to clients’ needs will enhance the Bank’s capacity to test innovative ideas and carry out pilot programs that can be expanded to meet regional development goals.

The Governors’ endorsement will make the IDB more innovative and responsive, with enhancements to project design, a new Comprehensive Portfolio Management System to measure and achieve results, and updated financial and technical instruments. This will lead to more effective support for government reforms, new contingent and rapid-disbursement facilities, more innovative climate-change instruments, increased execution capacity for counterparts, and risk-appetite and equity-investment policies that will favor private-sector projects and operations.

Combined, these new approaches, along with plans to more ambitiously tackle climate change and gender inequality, will help the region meet its evolving development needs, while helping to reduce poverty and protect its most vulnerable people.

The actions by the Boards of Governors stem from a mandate issued at the 2021 Annual Meeting for the Bank to carry out an in-depth analysis of the region’s challenges and the Bank’s role and optimal institutional structure. Following a period of consultations with country authorities and other stakeholders, the Bank presented Governors with a new value proposition centered on its core mandate of ensuring development effectiveness.

“I am immensely proud of the analytical work done by our experts, and I thank our Boards of Governors and our Executive Directors for their overwhelming support,” President Claver-Carone said. “This is not the destination, but truly the beginning of our journey to help our member countries, as we make the IDB the gold standard of operational excellence. Our region deserves no less.”

The next Annual Meeting of the IDB and IDB Invest will take place in Panama.

Regional Background

Even before the pandemic, Latin America and the Caribbean faced significant socioeconomic challenges, including some of the world’s slowest growth rates, high levels of labor informality, rising social discontent, poverty that reached nearly a third of the population, and big gaps in infrastructure, digitalization and small business financing.

The pandemic threw millions of people into poverty and set back a decade of gains in equality, particularly for women. In addition, the region suffered its worst economic collapse in 200 years in 2020 and, initially, had the world’s highest COVID-19 fatality rates.

In 2021, the region defied expectations and posted one of the world’s fastest economic recoveries. However, the recovery has not been accompanied by proportionate improvements in the job market or in key socioeconomic indicators. That is particularly true for women, who lost more jobs than men and are struggling to reenter the labor market. The region is also still reeling from the world’s longest school closures – an average of 231 days – and millions of children in the region have yet to return to classrooms.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance, and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

About IDB Invest

IDB Invest, a member of the IDB Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to promoting the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. IDB Invest finances sustainable companies and projects to achieve financial results and maximize economic, social, and environmental development in the region. With a portfolio of $14.8 billion in asset management and 376 clients in 25 countries, IDB Invest provides innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the needs of its clients in a variety of industries. IDB Invest’s legal name is the Inter-American Investment Corporation.

About IDB Lab

IDB Lab is the IDB’s innovation laboratory, promoting development through the private sector by identifying, supporting, testing and piloting new solutions to challenges and seeking to create opportunities for poor and vulnerable populations in Latin America and the Caribbean. www.idblab.org

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JAMPRO’s President Diane Edwards Makes A Career Step Amidst Praise For Achievements

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It is with regret that we advise that President Diane Edwards has given notice that she will not be renewing her contract, which ends December 31, 2022. She has opted instead to pursue her next career opportunities.

Over the last 9 years, under the stewardship of President Edwards, JAMPRO has been perceived by incoming investors as responsive and constantly helpful. Under her leadership, JAMPRO has taken on an enhanced marketing orientation, driven by pro-active team of professionals.

Ms. Edwards has led JAMPRO to be a leading government organization that has provided local and international investors in the tourism, manufacturing, and mining sectors with significant assistance to overcome difficulties as the seek to do business in Jamaica. The Global Digital Services (Business Process Outsourcing) (BPO) industry has moved from 12,000 jobs in 2013 to 54,000 jobs in 2022 through the attraction of new BPO companies and the creation of an ecosystem for multiple expansions across the country. Ms. Edwards and JAMPRO have played important roles in attracting these BPO businesses to assist the Jamaican economy.

Over the period, JAMPRO also commenced the implementation of transformative projects such as the creation of a National Business Portal and the establishment of a National Investment Policy, while advocating for the creation of a cannabis and hemp industry. In addition, the organisation has led the development and implementation of multiple sector strategies geared towards development and growth such as the National Global Digital Services Strategy, the National Manufacturing Strategy and the draft National 4-Year Agribusiness Strategy.

Melanie Subratie, Chair of JAMPRO, expressed her appreciation for the strong relationship she has built with Diane and gratitude for the work they have done together noting that “I have long been a champion of the sterling work done by JAMPRO and as a fellow female leader, I have admired Diane’s transformation of the organisation into a client-centric, results driven agency, leading the cause of the private sector. I am sorry to see her go, but I know that she has led a remarkable team who will continue her stellar work. There is no doubt in my mind that the Jamaica BPO industry would not exist in its current form without the work of Diane and her team at JAMPRO. They literally built an industry from the ground up.”

Senator the Honourable Aubyn Hill, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce added that “Diane’s endeavours to stimulate export and investment have played a significant role in the growth of the nation’s capabilities. Her management of JAMPRO and contributions to Jamaica’s economic development will be remembered.”

The Chair of JAMPRO advised that “I will continue to work closely with Diane, who is keen on supporting the process, to ensure a smooth and seamless transition. The role of the President of JAMPRO is vital to nation building and all efforts will be made to source the best talent over the next 3 months.”

The JAMPRO Board, supported by its Human Resource Committee, will immediately begin the process to recruit a new President.

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Breakthrough for Jamaica Limestone Export.

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Photo From left to right: President Diane Edwards-JAMPRO; Jase Millington, Operations Manager- Lydford Mining; Jackie Millington, Director-Lydford Mining, & Edgar Cousins, Director-Lydford Mining.

A turning point occurred on October 14th, 2022 for the Jamaican Limestone export sector; Lydford Mining Company has secured its first shipment of Construction Grade Limestone to the continental U.S.A.

Jamaica has one of the purest deposits of limestone globally with over 50 billion tonnes of proven limestone reserves. The Lydford Mining export shipment of 36,000mt tonnes of 3/4" stone is to be used in the production of concrete aggregates; and is destined for Savannah, Georgia. The loading for this first shipment is scheduled to take four days and involves 1,000 trucks, represents the start of a series of regular shipments into the South-eastern U.S. markets. JAMPRO’s President, Diane Edwards was on site, alongside Edgar Cousins and Jackie Millington of Lydford Mining, and the buyers from Twin Rivers Land & Timber team including Clay and Ashley Crosby, CEO and CFO respectively, to witness this historic occasion and observe the loading of the ship.

President Edwards spoke on the occasion “JAMPRO was instrumental in introducing Lydford Mining to Mr. Crosby, as the connecting of buyers with Jamaican exporters is a core function of JAMPRO and we are pleased that this connection has borne substantial fruit and an anticipated long-term relationship.

The Limestone global market size was valued at US$73.51billion in 2020 and is projected to reach US$113.6 Billion by 2028 according to Verified Market Research. The global projection bodes well for Jamaica and the potential of this milestone achievement for the Lydford Mining Company. The company is also a major producer, and exporter of value-added Limestone Aggregates, Ground Calcium Carbonate (GCC) for the Food/Pharmaceutical market, as well as for Flue-gas Desulphurization in the U.S.A. Regionally, it supplies markets for construction grade material and has supplied sand and gravel to customers in Aruba, Guantanamo Bay, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Lydford Mining also supplies materials manufactured to specification for the Construction, Animal Feed, Fertilizer, Paint, Plastics, and Soap industries to the domestic market. Lydford Mining is on a strategic path to double its business in 2023, while ensuring sustainable measures for the environment are in place to ensure we remain the premier producer of Limestone Aggregates in Jamaica” commented Edgar Cousins, Director, Lydford Mining.

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JAMPRO Initiative Paves Way For Over £85 Million Production Slate In The Jamaican Creative Industry

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JAMPRO, the arm of the Government of Jamaica that promotes business opportunities in export and investment to the local and international private sector, recently hosted a reception at the Jamaican High Commission, London to introduce four filmmakers based in Jamaica to potential British film financiers, investors, and distributors.

The networking reception enabled British film and animation executives to discover the attributes of the Jamaican film and animation industries as well as network with their Jamaican counterparts.

This initiative could be the forerunner that advances negotiations for a slate of film projects representing an estimated US$95 Million (£85milion) in production expenditure.).

The delegation from Jamaica consisted of filmmaker and storyteller, Ina Sotirova; Producer, Analisa Chapman – Have a Bawl Productions; Mezan Ayoka, writer, filmmaker and CEO of Ayzha Productions; and Adrian Lopez, CEO, producer and director at Liquid Light Digital (a film, animation and visual effects production house).

The Jamaican film projects were presented to some 50 British film producers, financiers, location managers, as well as companies which acquire and distribute film content. The JAMPRO reception facilitated initial discussions with investors. The filmmakers’ visit to London and participation in the BFI London Film Festival was supported by a United Kingdom Trade Partnership export-readiness programme, managed by the International Trade Centre.

Whilst celebrating the long history of collaboration between the British and Jamaican film industries, the event provided British film producers, location managers and film distributors with a rare opportunity to appreciate the myriad possibilities of filming in Jamaica in its widest sense.

Commenting on the success of the event, Laurence Jones, Manager – Europe at JAMPRO said “We were delighted to discover that a delegation of filmmakers representing Jamaican companies would attend the BFI London Film Festival and took this opportunity to promote Jamaican film projects to British investors and content distributors. JAMPRO will remain at their disposal to facilitate negotiations and support the execution of these projects.”

Head of Business Affairs at The Studio Group, Meredith Brett, said “the projects presented on the evening were well thought out, strongly developed and convincingly delivered. We made useful connection with Adrian Lopez of Liquid Light Digital and look forward to continuing our discussions about developing a studio in Jamaica. We look forward to visiting soon and putting boots on the ground.”

The JAMPRO London office is proactive in marketing the unique selling points of the Jamaican film industry such as varied locations, skilled and cost-effective crew, and a Co-production treaty with the UK that can facilitate tax credits for the UK leg of production. Jamaica facilitates on average 120+ productions shot on the island per year, with approximately 10-12% originating from the UK.

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MIIC & NCB Collaboration On Guyana Mission Delivers Multi-Sector Opportunities

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The recent mission to Guyana by the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce has unearthed a range of business opportunities across multiple sectors, such as Agribusiness, Construction, Financial Services & Tourism.

Conceptualised and led by portfolio Minister, Senator The Honourable Aubyn Hill, and organised by JAMPRO, the Ministry’s trade and investment promotion arm, the seven-day mission comprised a Jamaican delegation of 33 private sector and government officials.

JAMPRO arranged over 70 official business to business meetings for the Jamaican delegation with Guyanese companies and government agencies. This, with the support and collaboration of sponsor NCB, and key players such as the Guyanese Manufacturing and Services Association (GSMA), the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce (GCC), the Private Sector Council of Guyana and Go-Invest, the Guyanese government’s trade and investment agency.

“The level of proactive collaboration seen during scheduled group and small meetings has been extremely positive and shows the real economic benefits to be gained by both Jamaica and Guyana from this mission. There are already plans for a follow-up mission to advance the strong potential,” said Minister Hill.

Business networking opportunities on the mission were reinforced by a cocktail reception, sponsored by NCB Capital Markets and hosted by Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, at the Guyana Marriott Hotel. The reception featured the official signing of an MOU between the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-INVEST) and Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO).

The GSMA was represented by Executive Director, Nizam Hassan as well as second Vice President, Dr. Vishnu Doerga. Also in attendance were Chairman of the Extractive Industries subsector, Dinesh Bisessar; Chairman of the ICT subsector, Orson Ferguson; and Chairman of Textiles & Sewn Goods, Upasna Mudlier.

“NCB Capital Markets is a firm supporter of regional integration.

Steven Gooden, CEO, NCB Capital Market said, “NCB Capital Markets is a firm supporter of regional integration. To this end, we are pleased with the level of discussions that occurred at the recent JAMPRO Trade Mission to Guyana. It is these partnerships that will help to forge stronger relationships with our Guyanese neighbours and enable collective dialogue that will facilitate enhanced growth and development for both regions. We look forward to continuing conversations on our return with the JAMPRO team.”

With the expected increase in workforce needs in Guyana, Minister Hill seized the opportunity to highlight the capacity building potential of HEART NSTA to deliver the National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET) certification, and stressed Jamaica’s ability to supply short term technically skilled personnel to support the Guyanese expansion.

“We will explore designing a skills exchange programme to enhance the Guyanese talent pool,” he noted.

Guyana’s workforce needs will reach 2.5 million in the next three years, from a population base of 790,000.

Richard Rambarran, President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, opined that Guyana’s workforce needs will reach 2.5 million in the next three years, from a population base of 790,000. This presents expansive opportunities for an increased demand in food from which Jamaica’s agribusiness sector and its players could benefit. This also presents an opportunity to export processed goods, explore joint ventures with Guyanese entities to utilise raw materials and create synergies along the supply chain for the mutual benefit of Jamaica and Guyana.

Guyana’s current building boom requires an expansion of the building industry. Jamaican contractors and developers with access to capital can find opportunities in this expansion, generating financial gains for Jamaica while supporting the infrastructure growth of Guyana.

The possibilities for the building boom are clear – 12 hotels are under construction, one of which is financed by a Jamaican institution and built by a Jamaican contractor. 20,000 houses are also expected to be built per year over the next few years to support the expected talent influx. In addition, some 700 km of roads are being built, including a major highway to northeast Brazil.

Additional opportunities abound in the supply of building material and technical building expertise.

The growing need for capital to finance this building boom is more than the local institutions can provide, opening opportunities for Jamaica’s sophisticated private equity, debt financiers, micro credit, and stock exchanges to market their products and services. “The financial services industry in Guyana is replete with opportunities for Jamaican business acumen and financial know how to thrive. The Jamaican institutions can play a key role in bringing structured financial instruments to Guyana and support transformation of the sector,” said Minister Hill.

Underpinning Guyana’s vision to be the breadbasket of the Caribbean is the need for greater accreditation of its laboratories and food processing factories. JANAAC, Jamaica’s National Agency for Accreditation, has already certified four Guyanese agencies and is researching the potential to establish a satellite office there to capitalise on the new opportunities that were explored with Guyanese agencies and organisations.

Commenting on her experience in a post-mission survey, a member of the Jamaican delegation, Kareema Muncey, CEO, Home Choice Enterprise Ltd, said, “It was overwhelmingly great and well organised; it was a new experience. The mission connecting Guyana to Jamaica was a great idea for networking and business opportunities.”

The spirit of collaboration and the opportunities unearthed were excellent

The trade mission included senior business representatives from the financial services, food processing, HR solutions and construction management fields, all of whom had fruitful discussions with Guyanese counterparts. The mission has improved on the established foundation between the two nations and strengthened business ties between Jamaica and Guyana for mutual economic benefit.

President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards stated, “The spirit of collaboration and the opportunities unearthed were excellent and reinforced the need for deeper regional integration as the shared benefits will enhance the region on a whole.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast that Guyana’s overall real gross domestic product (GDP) for 2022 will grow at a rate of 57.8 per cent. Much of this is underpinned by the development of a nascent oil and gas sector, and spin-off developments.

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Jamaica Economy to Return to Pre-COVID-19 Output Levels by 2023

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PHOTO: YHOMO HUTCHINSON
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke (at podium), addresses the Rotary Club of Kingston’s weekly luncheon at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, on Thursday (October 6). Listening (from left) are the Club’s Vice President, Sixto Coy, and President Karsten Johnson.

Data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) indicate that the country is on track to returning to pre-COVID-19 levels of economic output by 2023.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, said that achieving the target will place Jamaica “far ahead of our peers in the Caribbean region”.

“We are at 97 per cent of our pre-COVID levels of economic output. We went all the way down to 82 per cent, [but are] back up to about 97 per cent. [This] is related to the fact that we were able to maintain macro stability through the crisis,” Dr. Clarke said.

Consequent on the strong economic performance, S&P Global Ratings on Wednesday (October 5) affirmed Jamaica’s ‘B+’ rating, while maintaining its ‘Stable’ outlook for the economy.

Minister Clarke, who was addressing the Rotary Club of Kingston’s luncheon at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Thursday (October 6), said that gross domestic product (GDP) data from the STATIN show that the economy is “performing better than planned”.

STATIN reported that the economy grew by 4.8 per cent during the April to June 2022 quarter, relative to the corresponding period last year.

This was attributed to a 7.2 per cent increase in the Services Industry, despite the Goods Producing Industry contracting by two percentage points.

The Services Industry out-turn resulted from improved performances in all eight subsectors.

‘Hotels and Restaurants’ led the way with 56 per cent, while ‘Wholesale and Retail Trade, Repairs, and Installation of Machinery & Equipment’, rose by 7.6 per cent.

Other notable out-turns were ‘Transport, Storage and Communication’, up 5.7 per cent; ‘Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities’, up 2.1 per cent; ‘Electricity and Water Supply’, up two per cent; and ‘Finance and Insurance Services’, up 1.1 per cent.

Dr. Clarke noted that as persons were able to return to work, consequent on the gradual reopening of the economy, Jamaica commenced experiencing recovery at a “very fast clip”, with eight per cent growth in 2022, and a 4.5 per cent projection for this year.

“As a result of this recovery, we are experiencing overperformance, which is always a good thing. We have a lot of work to do. But there is no doubt about our trajectory… and [based on] the fact that we have been able to recover so quickly… we can look forward [to] the fruits of the stability that we enjoy,” he said.

 

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