Government acquires US$25 million loan from IDB

Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 20:00

The Government has acquired a US$25 million loan from the IDB.

The following is a statement from the Ministry of Planning and Development on the matter:

"The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago today signed a US$25 million dollar loan that will assist Trinidad and Tobago in enhancing its trade facilitation processes. 

This IDB loan is an effort to boost economic development, encourage innovation and growth, and open new pathways to economic diversification for the country. 

The loan will also help Trinidad and Tobago to strengthen electronic business opportunities by providing the financial investment to fortify the country’s Single Electronic Window (SEW) for Trade and Business.
The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis, the Minister of Planning and Development, signed the loan agreement on behalf of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Luis Alberto Moreno, IDB’s President, signed the agreement on behalf of the Bank. 

The loan signing took place at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the IDB and the 31st Annual Meeting of the Inter-American Investment Corporation, in Nassau, The Bahamas. The IDB loan is for 25 years, with a grace period of 5-1/2 years and an interest rate based on LIBOR.

The SEW loan offers Trinidad and Tobago a real-time opportunity to upgrade its customs systems; implement an electronic payment system for users and taxpayers; and improve the overall trade performance and business facilitation environment in the country. It also seeks to optimise and simplify foreign trade; reduce time and costs; improve domestic transactions among national government institutions and external interactions with trading partners; and update and regulate the institutional framework of the SEW. 

The loan will also support business processing reengineering and risk management for government agencies; an intermodal logistics platform; and interoperability with other single windows.
Tomás Bermudez, the IDB’s representative to Trinidad and Tobago, noted the benefits of this loan agreement: “This loan goes to the heart of two things that are very relevant to Trinidad and Tobago. 

It improves the business environment or the enabling environment for business to import and export more efficiently and at a better cost. 

This should help in the final price of goods that come into the country and generate new sources of foreign exchange that are highly needed for the nation.” Bermudez added, “This loan will also improve the governance and institutional framework through a Single Electronic Window that supports trade by effectively linking ports, airports and customs functions that were not part of the single electronic window, and which was the missing link to connect the entire system.”
More than 70 countries, around the world, have implemented single electronic window systems. 

Multiple studies have shown that single electronic window systems experience substantial cost and time savings as well as enhanced transparency and interagency collaboration. Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile and Peru are among the countries in Latin America that already have experienced significant improvements in trade facilitation through their single-window programmes."