Prime Minister David Thompson (left) shakes hands with??the President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Mr. Luis Alberto Moreno, after initialling the loan agreements. ??

Prime Minister David Thompson signed three development loans for some US$80 million, during a meeting yesterday with President of the Inter-American Development Bank, (IDB) Luis Alberto Moreno, in Cancun, Mexico.

The three loans which were negotiated recently, include US$10 million for the Barbados Competitiveness Programme, which is to rationalise incentives to the business sector and undertake other reforms to enhance business. It will be administered by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The second loan, worth US$50 million, will be used for the Barbados Water and Sanitation Systems Upgrade project. It will be executed by the Barbados Water Authority to reorganise and modernise that institution, rehabilitate the potable water supply and a wastewater re-use plan for Barbados.?????? ??

The establishment of the Agricultural Health and Food Control Programme will be funded by the third loan at a cost of US $20 million.????

Noting that the loans were historic, Prime Minister Thompson lauded his staff for the work they had done. He said he was sure that it was the first occasion that the IDB would have granted three approvals concurrently and had three loans signed, as was done yesterday.

"That this is happening is the direct result of my establishing the Division of Investment and the excellent work done by the Permanent Secretary and her staff over the past year. All three of these projects answer those who ask what is being done to prepare Barbados for the post-recessionary period and to be better guardians of our environment.

"These three projects will, in my view, engender innovation and are key investments to support entrepreneurship and business development. These funds are vital in our current economic environment," Mr. Thompson opined.

The Prime Minister left Barbados last Friday, accompanied by Permanent Secretary (Investments), Juanita Thorington-Powlett and Executive Director of the IDB for the Caribbean Group, Winston Cox.

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