CIBC FirstCaribbean headed two sessions at this year’s Caribbean Infrastructure Forum (CARIF 2018), focusing on financing trends and climate resilient water supplies.
The conference, which explored the financing and construction of world-class infrastructure throughout the Caribbean, took place at the Baha Mar convention centre from December 4-5.
Adam Carter, managing director and head of investment banking at CIBC FirstCaribbean, said having more resilient infrastructure projects will help improve the lives of citizens and increase economic prosperity and job creation.
“CIBC and CIBC FirstCaribbean are very strong, and very committed, players in the infrastructure space across the globe and closer to home,” he said. “We have been at the forefront of many projects - from government initiatives to governmen- sponsored deals to private sector deals.
“I think we have helped improve the competitiveness of the process, and we certainly try to be innovative in terms of providing world-standard products and advisory services to get projects off the ground. We stand ready to continue that push in the islands that we have our footprint in.”
Gillian Charles-Gollop, CIBC FirstCaribbean’s executive director of corporate finance and advisory, emphasised the need for stakeholders and authorities to counter the impact of extreme weather events on water supply.
“In the last year we have had several islands that were hit hard in the region with significant destruction of infrastructure. The resulting damage and disruption to water services severely impacted not only the general population but also the supply of other essential services that would have an impact on both health and other environmental risks,” said Mrs Charles-Gollop.
She added that water security and infrastructure resilience is key for many countries, with several multilateral agencies supporting the development of sustainable assets.
“In many of our own islands, an added challenge is that water treatment infrastructure remains outdated, inefficiently managed and heavily subsidised, indicating the critical need for national water processes and planning for a sustainable future. Given also that our countries face a very high debt-to-GDP load, alternative financing and operating structures is a prudent consideration,” said Mrs Charles-Gollop.