Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 23rd 2015 Contents BG4 COVER STORY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt JULY 23 • 2015
With a loan
between T&T and the Inter-American Devel-
opment Bank (IDB) continues to grow, says
Tomas Bermudez, the IDB s country repre-
"Our portfolio here in T&T is about
US$739.5 million and it means the number of
loans we have in execution and are being dis-
bursed right now. Our finances are long term
so it is about 20 years. The IDB has financed
many things from roads to schools to health
facilities. Right now our portfolio has a big
concentration on water sanitisation particularly
wastewater. We are also working on flooding
alleviation in Port-of-Spain," he told the Busi-
ness Guardian last Friday.
Bermudez, who is a 42-year-old Venezuelan
national, said the IDB is not the only option
for a country wanting money for development,
but there are factors that make the IDB different
from other international players.
"T&T is a country that can go out to inter-
national markets and raise money fairly easily.
The question is: why would you want a devel-
opment bank working with T&T? The reason
why we have become a good development
partner with T&T is the IDB brings technical
expertise and know how. If a country wants
money alone it can raise money on the capital
markets or get Goldman Sachs or Citibank to
write you a cheque," he said.
He said the IDB brings more than money
to the country it has a relationship with.
"We have a great knowledge within the bank
and if we do not have skills in a certain area
we can get it. So we become, in many ways,
advisers and consultants to the governments
we work with. That is an important element
we bring to the table and it is the reason why
most governments look for our funding. In
certain specific areas, they want the technical
know how. The IDB has a wealth of knowledge
in different areas."
Another strength that the IDB has that dif-
ferentiates it from other bodies is transparency
in the way it does business, he said.
"The IDB has very stringent standards for
procurement. The IDB procurement policies
are close to international standards and we
have several steps to monitor how the process
is being done. There is also the cost benefit
analysis for a project. If we do this cost benefit
analysis and we think that it does not make
sense to do it, we will not be able to finance
it."Previously, Bermudez was the country rep-
resentative for Panama where he was stationed
for four years and he will be in T&T for the
same time period.
He has been employed by the IDB for ten
years and replaced Michelle Cross Fenty as
the IDB country representative. She served
from 2012 to 2015 in T&T.
He said one of her highlights was growing
the loan portfolio of the IDB in T&T. In 2013,
she told the Business Guardian the portfolio
was then US$500 million.
Bermudez attributes the growth in the port-
folio as an example of the successful pro-
grammes that the bank and T&T collaborate
"The relationship between the IDB and T&T
started since independence. Once T&T became
a part of the Organisation of the American
States system, it became part of the IDB. We
have been partners in development with T&T
since then. Our sovereign-side client is the
country and we work with the country and
the different governments."
IDB's role in T&T growing
IDB's country representative
PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
About Tomas Bermudez
T&T country representative, Inter-
American Development Bank.
Tomas Bermudez, who was born in
Caracas, Venezuela is the country repre-
sentative of the Inter-American Develop-
ment Bank in T&T. He is responsible for
managing the bank's sovereign and non-
sovereign portfolio in the country as well
as IDB's technical assistance initiatives.
Previously to this assignment,
Bermudez was IDB's country representa-
tive in Panama, Head of Equity Invest-
ments of the Inter-American Investment
Corporation an affiliate of the IDB and
manager of the IIC---China Equity Fund.
Bermudez was vice-president of debt
capital markets for BBVA Securities in
New York in charge of fixed income and
syndicated loans transactions in Latin
He holds a BA and MBA from Ameri-
can University in Washington DC.
Continued on Page 5
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