An additional financing option to assist Barbados in its development was created today with the signing of agreements by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler, and the Executive President of the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), L. Enrique Garcia.

A Policy Based Agreement and an Agreement on Technical Cooperation were signed at Government Headquarters, with officials from Government and CAF witnessing the brief ceremony.

Mr. Stuart said: ???Pursuant to the Agreement for the Subscription of Common Capital Stock which afforded Barbados the opportunity to subscribe to Series ???C??? Shares in CAF, was an Agreement for a Policy Based Loan for US$50 million in support of the Barbados Growth and Development Strategy, 2013 to 2020. This loan enables Barbados to fund the shares in CAF to the level of three thousand, five hundred and twenty-two Series ???C??? shares.???

He pointed out that the Agreement for the Subscription of Common Capital Stock between Barbados and the CAF was signed last September in Washington and it was followed up with the signing of the Agreement of Immunities, Exemptions and Privileges last November.

The Prime Minister explained that Barbados??? interest in developing a relationship with CAF, which he described as a ???unique international financial institution??? dated back to 2002.

Stating that the signing of the agreements was the start of a long-term relationship, Mr. Garcia gave the assurance that Barbados could count on the CAF???s support. He said the financial institution might adopt many more initiatives in the future to support this country???s development and growth strategy.

He disclosed that 19 countries were considering becoming members of the CAF and said he hoped the institution would be a very important instrument for the region.??After the ceremony, Mr. Sinckler told the media that the CAF offered a wide range of financial options and instruments that Government could access.

???The open private capital markets are very harsh for countries such as Barbados and many across the world. You borrow at very high risk premiums, based on what your credit rating is, and based on what is happening in your economy. This [membership of the CAF] provides for us an opportunity to access substantial resources at highly concessional interest rates that benefits Barbados.

???It also allows us to access resources that are predominantly geared towards infrastructural development??? We want to ensure that we can continue to build capacity in our infrastructure so that we can make ourselves attractive as a tourism destination, as an international business and financial services jurisdiction, an economy where trade and commerce could be conducted??? This really gives us an array of opportunities and we are happy to take advantage of it,??? Minister Sinckler said.

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