Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 15th 2015 Contents BG4 | COVER STORY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt JANUARY 2015 • WEEK THREE
She said the loan was designed by IDB staffers
born in or residents of Trinidad "and is so specifically
designed for T&T that when we went to the board
for approval the comment that we got from board
members was what a good job the IDB had done in
designing a loan for the country."
She hopes to bring the skills of nuanced, tailored
loan design and the need for some flexibility to the
19 regional borrowing member countries that she
will serve in her new post.
Although she will be based in Bridgetown, Barbados
at the headquarters of the CDB, her flight out of
Piarco International Airport is heading to Grenada,
as she jumps straight into her first mission.
About her new job, she says: "I can hardly contain
myself, I am so excited about my new position because
I will get to do what I have done in Trinidad and
Tobago for the last three years, but now I get to do
it for the rest of the region as well."
Jumps straight into new job
Continued from page 3
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Her job entails running all of the CDB s
project throughout the region, which she
says is a much broader job than the IDB
post, which only involved T&T. An indication
of the size of her new portfolio is the fact
that the CDB loaned US$139 million to its
members in 2013 for 13 projects, the largest
of which was a US$33.2 million loan to Bar-
bados for LIAT s fleet modernisation proj-
ect.Cross Fenty says that she approaches
development issues in a different way to
others at the CDB and IDB because of her
She said: "I am very pragmatic. I am
interested in determining what is the logical
solution and what is the quickest means of
getting there. It s all about the bottom line.
"I have been thinking about this idea of
catalytic development, which would involve
funding smaller innovative interventions
that unlock and spur larger developmental
She argues that successful development
lending is not necessarily about the size of
the loan, but about how innovative the inter-
vention is or turns out to be. Achieving
innovative interventions in small, diverse
economies requires brainpower and someone
to distill the ideas into projects that are
"With the catalytic approach, you can
use greater flexibility to invest in innovative
pilots: small projects the results of which
can be used to programme larger loans.
Having done the pilot, when you get to the
larger loan, you know that you are building
something, which would have the develop-
ment impact that you want to achieve."
Cross Fenty says that she hopes to use
the pilot projects to narrowly focus and
design the larger projects to ensure not only
a catalytic impact but to compound the
capitalisation of the investment results.
This would involve intellectualising the
projects with "almost a think-tank
approach" that would get the project design-
ers to really think about the design and
implementation of the projects."
She said she also wants to focus on eval-
uating and monitoring the capacities of gov-
ernments in the region. This would allow
the CDB to track interventions and their
outcomes and to understand what inter-
ventions work in the Caribbean and why.
As well, there is need to build the capac-
ities of the governments so that officials
and technocrats learn from each project that
is undertaken in their country and in other
Asked where she sees the Caribbean in
five years, Cross Fenty says: "What I would
like to see is significant steps taken to come
up with the solution of the energy crisis in
the Caribbean. That is one of the most
important issues that the region needs to
"The other thing that I hope, and I would
not underestimate this, is that the region
properly utilises Public Private Partnerships
(PPP) as a contractual modality to work
within the fiscal space limitations that many
She points out that the Caribbean is not
the first region to experience a fiscal crunch
and that other countries with similar prob-
lems have turned to PPPs as a means of
financing infrastructural projects as it may
involve limited State funding.
And Cross Fenty says she is optimistic
about the Caribbean and its future: "Now
that I live in the region, I get the opportunity
to talk to brilliant people and I think the
answers to the region s problems are right
here among us.
"We just need a vehicle to have the con-
versations elevated and to recognise that as
a region we can come up with the right
solutions for ourselves."
She refers to the meeting hosted by the
International Monetary Fund in Montego
Bay, Jamaica at the end of October, which
discussed many of the region s problems.
She believes the focus needs to be on imple-
menting the solutions.
"Grasping the issues, relatively, is the eas-
iest part of the equation. Figuring out the
solutions isn t necessarily the most difficult
part because, as I said, there are many bril-
liant people in the region. Implementing
the changes that need to take place to solve
the problems is where we need to focus.
"A regional institution like the CDB is a
great place to be, to have this discussion
about getting things done."
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