CARIF 2020: Regional, international finance leaders to discuss Caribbean infrastructure development

Van der Burg

This year is a pivotal one for investment in infrastructure in the Caribbean and the region is responding to the pressing need to modernize and invest.

For the 4th consecutive year, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank has joined forces with IJ Global, the infrastructure arm of Euromoney Institutional Investor, and New Energy Events, the host of the annual Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF), to present the Caribbean Infrastructure Finance Forum (CARIF).  The other title sponsor is KPMG.

CARIF 2020 is to be held at the AC Marriott Hotel, Kingston, Jamaica, from Tuesday, January 21-22. It is gathering of policymakers, developers, investors, providers of financing, regional public sector leaders and international infrastructure powerhouses. The event is designed to map out the region’s infrastructure needs to the international market and explore what can be done to attract international capital to address those needs.

CARIF 2020 has attracted a world-class roster of speakers including the Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness who will open the forum; Joseph Hew, Minister of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure, Sixth Elected Member for George Town North, Cayman Islands Government; Kye Rymer, Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities, Government of the Virgin Islands; Emanuel DaRosa, President & CEO, Jamaica Public Service Company; and Sarah-Jade Govia, Water Sector Specialist, Ministry of Public Utilities, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

A group shot from the 2018 staging of CARIF.

Also slated to speak at the event will be Audley Deidrick, President and CEO Airports Authority of Jamaica; Therese Turner-Jones, General Manager, CCB, Inter-American Development Bank; Aaron Adderley, President, Bermuda Skyport Corporation Limited; Colette Delaney, Chief Executive Officer, CIBC FirstCaribbean; Gregg Anderson, Executive Director, Utility Regulation and Competition Office of the Cayman Islands; and S Brian Samuel, Head, Public-Private, Partnerships, Caribbean Development Bank.

Pim van der Burg, Managing Director, Corporate Investment Banking at CIBC FirstCaribbean noted that the bank is sponsoring CARIF 2020 against a backdrop of its success regionally in brokering public and private sector cooperation in generating investment opportunities for and increasing the availability of, capital for infrastructure development.

“Over the past four years, the bank has arranged in excess of US$2.3 billion in various financing transactions in the infrastructure sector, making us the leading regional financier,” the bank said. The bank has also won two major awards for infrastructure financing—the 2016 IJGlobal award for ‘North America Port of the Year’ for the debt financing of expansion and privatization of the Kingston Container Terminal; and the 2017 CREF award for “Best Project Financing” for our project financing of Entropy Cayman Solar, Cayman’s inaugural solar PV commercial project.

Participants at the 2018 staging of CARIF

Mr van der Burg said, “The past few years have seen extremely active hurricane seasons, and some of the islands in the region have had increased incidences of earthquakes, bringing into sharp focus, the need for infrastructure development focused on resilience. The needs are great and billions of dollars are required to modernize and enhance the efficiency of power, transportation, telecommunications, water, wastewater and allied sectors: CARIF 2020 is the perfect forum for the essential dialogue around this.”

“CIBC FirstCaribbean’s role as one of the leading financial services companies in the Caribbean is to contribute to the continued development of our region, by arranging and providing financing for projects that are designed to demonstrate that development. But we see ourselves as more than merely providing the financing—we see ourselves as partners to the various stakeholders and this is why we consider this type of forum so critical,” Mr van der Burg added. More than 150 delegates from the government and private sector, investors, representatives of the banking, engineering, legal and other sectors, are confirmed to attend CARIF 2020.