Now in its third year, Caribbean Infrastructure Forum (CARIF 2018) once again brought together policy-makers and developers, to exchange views on the financing and construction of world-class infrastructure projects throughout the Caribbean. The interactive forum took place at the Baha Mar Convention Center on December 4 and 5, 2018.
Dr. Hubert A. Minnis, prime minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, presented the host nation keynote address, explaining the challenges and triumphs his country and the wider Caribbean face, as it relates to creating modern and improved digital infrastructure throughout the islands.
“There is a firm commitment among regional governments to close our infrastructure gaps and deliver better outcomes for their respective citizens. But I believe that implementation success for our small island states lies in the collaboration of both public and private sector stakeholders to explore and exploit comparative advantages and forge innovative solutions,” Dr. Minnis said.
A ministerial roundtable on the conference’s opening day brought together Leona Romeo-Marlin, prime minister of Saint Maarten; Joseph Hew, minister of commerce, planning and infrastructure, Cayman Islands; and Kirk Humphrey, minister of the blue economy, Barbados, to discuss how resiliency and climate change issues shape the evolution of regional policy making.
Romeo-Marlin said that her government turned the devastation from last year’s hurricane season into an opportunity to enact a long-term sustainable infrastructure plan for St. Maarten, and encouraged other Caribbean nations to do the same.
Other topics addressed at CARIF 2018 included Developing Long-Term Resilient Infrastructure Strategy & Positioning Islands for Growth, Prioritizing the Blue Economy, Social Infrastructure, Solid Waste, Defining a New Energy Matrix, LNG, Data Analytics Driving Infrastructure and Caribbean Gateways: Developing cost effective connectivity.
CIBC FirstCaribbean was the co-title sponsor for this year’s conference along with KPMG once again. As co-title sponsor, CIBC FirstCaribbean brings an abundance of infrastructural experience and has led over $1 billion in transactions for 2018; where over US$500 million in financing support went to energy utility companies and direct sovereign lending in Aruba, The Bahamas, Curacao and Jamaica.
The Caribbean Infrastructure Forum (CARIF) is the largest gathering of regional infrastructure market on the annual calendar. CARIF 2018 convened policy-makers, utilities, multilaterals and financiers to map out the region’s infrastructure needs, generate vital new relationships and introduce world-class Caribbean projects to international sources of financing.