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Caribbean, Europe establishing special infrastructure fund to finance energy projects

Caribbean nations and the European Commission have agreed to establish a special fund to finance energy, transportation and information technology projects, a senior EC official said on Sunday.

“There was a fair agreement on working on the setting up of a Caribbean-European Union trust fund for development in order to create a tool which is able to foster investment in inter-connection infrastructure in the region,” the EC’s Director General for Development Stefano Manservisi told AFP, after a one-day consultation in Antigua on regional integration and cooperation.

Manservisi said 40 million euros already have been set aside for the Caribbean’s infrastructure trust fund which would be co-managed by the European Investment Bank based on the EU-Africa Trust Fund model.

St. Lucia’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Tessa Mangal, explained that the fund would secure and promote public-sector and private-sector investments in air and sea transportation, information technology, energy and telecommunications.

“An infrastructure fund for the Caribbean which will deal with these important areas is of special significance to small islands and small economies which comprise CARIFORUM,” said Mangal, referring to the Caribbean Forum of the 77-nation African Caribbean and Pacific group.

The Caribbean is known for its slow and expensive air transportation and insufficient intra-regional shipping.

Except for oil-rich Trinidad and Tobago, other Caribbean countries import their fuel supplies while leaving hydro, wind and geo-thermal energy resources virtually untapped.

Manservisi said the details of the fund would be worked out between Europe and the Caribbean in the coming months.

Category/ies:Regional News.
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