Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 2nd 2017 Contents FEBRUARY 2 • 2017 guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
REGIONAL | BG19
Senior Bdos govt
to save foreign
Asenior Barbados government minister
is warning that the island needs to
earn and save foreign exchange as it
can no longer or borrow its way out
of its circumstances.
Commerce Minister Donville
Inniss speaking at the official opening of the motor
vehicle dealership, said that Barbados was current-
ly importing an average of 395 vehicles a month at
an average expenditure of almost BDS$10 million
He said the invoices for the importation of vehicles
were settled in US dollars primarily.
"Perhaps we will get a better grasp of why the report
issued by the Central Bank recently was so timely
and relevant. Whilst I am satisfied that there is no
need for us to panic and perhaps become irrational,
it is instructive that purchases like these do not come
from a good chunk of our foreign reserves.
"Less I am misinterpreted, I am not suggesting that
we curb the importation of motor vehicles but rather
that we remind ourselves as to the need to earn and
save foreign exchange," he added.
The International Business Minister noted that
when the expenditure on fuel imports is added, as
well as the importation of parts and other supplies,
there would be a better appreciation of where a lot of
the country's foreign exchange was going.
"A lot of it goes in the vehicles we drive. We are
currently spending in excess of one billion dollars
per year on the importation, fuelling and operation of
vehicles in Barbados. I do not foresee any significant
decline in the expenditure on vehicles, in the short
to medium term.
"Therefore, our task must lie in how we can earn
the money to pay for the vehicles we own and operate,
whether they are public or private sector owned and
operated," he said.
Earlier this week, the Central Bank of Barbados
said the stock of international reserves at the end of
December stood at BDS$681 million, equivalent to
10.3 weeks of imports. In addition, inflows of over
BDS$250 million were pending on December 31st.
Puerto Rico approves law that
calls for partial debt payment
Puerto Rico's governor has signed a
fiscal emergency law that in part aims
to pay some of the US territory's nearly
US$70 billion public debt.
Ricardo Rossello said a portion of the
money left over after essential servic-
es are paid would go toward paying
bondholders. The law also extends a
debt moratorium until May 1 and gives
Rossello the option to extend it for three
more months if needed.
Legislators approved the bill follow-
ing several amendments, including re-
quiring their approval before the gov-
ernor can take out loans or issue new
Rossello signed the bill on Sunday.
CDB calls for more
action in making shift
to sustainable energy
The Barbados-based Caribbean De-
velopment Bank (CDB) says regional
countries have made notable progress
in making the shift to sustainable energy
but more must be done to promote and
unlock financing for a clean energy shift
in the Caribbean.
The CDB was among various region-
al and international stakeholders that
participated in the just concluded Fifth
Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum
CDB Head of Renewable Energy and
Energy Efficiency, Tessa Williams-Rob-
ertson, used the conference to outline
commendations on how Caribbean gov-
ernments can bridge the financing gap
that could slow the region's progress on
achieving its renewable energy targets.
Data show that the Caribbean needs
at least US$15 billion in financing to
achieve 47 per cent renewable power
capacity by 2027.
"As a region, we face a number of
constraints to accessing financing for
sustainable energy development. These
include our small market size and the
perceived high risk of investing in the
Caribbean," said Williams-Robertson.
She said that to drive the right quan-
tity and quality of investments, Carib-
bean governments need to ensure their
legal frameworks allow and support sus-
tainable energy financing; establish the
feasibility and financial viability of the
proposed projects; and determine if ca-
pacity-building or technical assistance
is needed for implementation.
"Concessional financing is also crit-
ical to driving sustainable energy inno-
vation in the Caribbean. CDB is pleased
to report that we have had successes in
mobilising such resources to power a
clean energy future for the Caribbean
region," she said.
The Bank's Borrowing Member
Countries (BMCs) now have access to
grant and loan resources, and techni-
cal support that CDB has raised from a
number of partners and agencies. They
include funding from the government
of Canada; the European Investment
Bank Climate Action Line of Credit; the
European Union Caribbean Investment
Facility; the Government of Germany;
the Inter-American Development Bank;
and the United Kingdom Department
for International Development.
CDB Sustainable Energy Adviser,
Joseph Williams, said in addition to
taking the appropriate steps to secure
the right kind of financing, the bank
is encouraging stakeholders to apply
lessons learned as they chart a path to
"In addition to mobilising financing,
we must learn from the lessons that have
emerged, particularly during the past
five years. We know that Caribbean
governments need champions who can
promote a clear vision for their energy
"As a region, we must commit to
practising good governance; and create
more enabling environments if we are to
achieve real progress on our renewable
energy targets," Williams said.
The forum, hosted by the Caribbean
Community, was attended by more than
100 national, regional and international
stakeholders, from the public and pri-
vate sectors, on the topic of sustainable
The Grenada government says its first issue of
Treasury Bills on the Regional Government Securities
Market (RGSM) has been over-subscribed.
A government statement noted that the 91
day Treasury Bill for 2017 was for EC$10 million
(EC$1=US$0.37 cents) with the option to take an
additional five million dollars.
"The auction which took place on the Eastern Car-
ibbean Securities Exchange platform had over-sub-
scriptions of EC$16.6 million and a final rate is 2.499
"This is the lowest rate Grenada has received on
the regional market since it began floating the 91-
day benchmark Treasury Bill in 2011," the statement
It said that "in the later part of 2016, the reserve rate
on Grenada's three month Treasury Bill was reduced
to four per cent as investor confidence and market
forces resulted in a new equilibrium."
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