During the holiday season, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) paid a courtesy call on the Bahamas Development Bank (BDB).

In attendance from CDB were Dr Gene Leon, president; Isaac Solomon, vice president of operations; and Daniel Best, director of projects.

In attendance from BDB were Senator Quinton Lightbourne, chairman; Ashley Outten, financial controller; Alonzo Hinsey Jr, manager of IT and premises; and Sumayyah Cargill, unit head of strategic development and initiatives. Jazmine Ageeb-Cerdenares also attended on behalf of the Ministry of Finance.

The courtesy call was an opportunity to strengthen the longstanding partnership between the Development Finance Institutions (DFI). The banks identified common goals and established an understanding of each other’s development perspectives. It was agreed that holistic development that reaches all aspects of society and development in a balanced, inclusive, coherent way is the way forward for the region.

In particular, CDB President Leon advised that The Bahamas is in a position to offer leadership on a regional level in the development finance arena and Bahamian DFIs should become more active in sharing experience and expertise with Caribbean institutions.

He noted: “The Bahamas Development Bank plays a primary role in the development of The Bahamas and this country is a large shareholder in the Caribbean Development Bank. Given these facts, the CDB seeks to enhance its relationship with the BDB and The Bahamas at large.”

Moving forward, it is the desire of both banks to align their visions so that together they can establish a broader, comprehensive pipeline to provide financing for projects in The Bahamas.

Moreover, CDB stressed that it exists to provide a package of resources that includes technical assistance in addition to financing for national development needs. CDB acknowledged that BDB, like other regional development banks, must walk a tightrope between managing risk and the need to lend to kickstart new initiatives.

Leon suggested that BDB look to alternative means of funding and design new products and tools to broaden the bank’s impact.

Lightbourne advised that the bank is committed to transformative development in partnership with the CDB and the wider international community.

Fostering and strengthening these relationships will provide the additional support necessary for BDB to continue to execute its strategic plan. Additionally, revisiting BDB’s attempt to modernize its legislation to reflect its evolved principles as a development bank will further equip the bank in maximizing its impact.

The CDB will return to The Bahamas in February to further determine its strategy in developing a comprehensive financing pipeline for projects in the country. Both institutions will engage in a more substantial discussion on how the banks can work together and outline the support needed from CDB to improve industry in The Bahamas.