Inspiring performance of the CDB
May 19, 2004
THE PRESIDENT and staff of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) would have returned from the 34th annual board of governors meeting of the bank last week in Tobago very encouraged at the general consensus on and some ringing endorsements of the institution’s improved policies and management performance.
In contrast to some previous board of governors meetings the one just concluded in Tobago was noted for limited muted criticisms but loud praises for the increasing role the 34-year-old CDB is playing in helping to advance the social and economic development of this region.
It would not have escaped the attention of even cynics and critics of the CDB that the Tobago meeting coincided with disclosure that the respected Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services had assigned its coveted triple-A long-term and A-1+ short-term foreign currency counterparty credit ratings to the bank with the outlook that the long term rating is “stable”.
The CDB now has the unique distinction within the hemisphere, certainly for governments and institutions of the CARICOM region, in earning triple-A ratings by both the ratings groups of Moody’s and Standard & Poor.
The only two other multilateral financial institutions that have been so rated over the years are the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.
This is an achievement to be enjoyed not only by President Compton Bourne and his colleagues at the bank; or the board of governors and board of directors who Bourne has been seeking to become even more involved in the business of the institution. It is an honour that should make proud the governments and peoples of this region.
The sustained contributions of the donor members of the CDB, regional and more-so extra-regional would have played no small part in enabling the bank to move forward with much confidence in the implementation of its policies in the conceptualization, approval and disbursements of loans and grants.
A development economist and a former principal of the St Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies, Bourne, who would also have been influenced by that statesman among Caribbean economists, the late William Demas, took over leadership of the CDB three years ago on the retirement of Sir Neville Nicholls who had rendered sterling service.
Barbados, among the borrowing member countries (BMCs) to have given impressive endorsement of the operations of the bank under Bourne’s watch, urged the board of governors at last week’s meeting in Tobago not to leave the president “out there” to function as “a solitary beast of burden” in his efforts to increase the capital base of the CDB.
For Guyana, which has assumed the chairmanship of the board of governors and will host next year’s 35th annual meeting, 2003 marked yet “another solid accomplishment” by the bank.
--- Barbados Daily Nation