USAID AND CARICOM Partner to Develop an Environment for Resilient Business and Investment in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean

The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development Eastern and Southern Caribbean Mission (USAID/ESC) in partnership with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, is launching a new initiative, the Caribbean Business Enabling Environment Reform (CBEE-R) project, a three-year $8.6 million project, which will work with the private sector and governments across the region to develop an improved enabling environment for resilient business and investment and engage the private sector in policy assessment, development, and implementation.

Climate variability is a global challenge that affects the region’s economic growth, food security, public health, and livelihoods. Building resilience to prepare and respond to the impacts of climate change takes many forms and relies on strong and innovative partners.  Similar to other regions in the world, significantly constrained economic growth across the Eastern and Southern Caribbean has created the circumstances for unsustainable high public borrowing.  The CBEE-R initiative will focus on areas and reforms that will have the greatest effect on vulnerable populations and will provide economic opportunities for communities and marginalized groups. USAID works across the Eastern and Southern Caribbean to support the increase in domestic resource mobilization necessary to promote social and economic development.  This effort will complement USAID’s other programs that accelerate private sector engagement and economic growth—by strengthening a stable and supportive foundation for domestic and international investment leading to further growth in jobs and incomes.

“This initiative will work with businesses and governments to undertake reforms that catalyze economic growth while simultaneously building resilience to disasters and improving risk mitigation in order to create sustainable, strong Caribbean economies,” U.S. Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch said.

CARICOM Deputy Secretary General, Dr. Armstrong Alexis, commented that “The CBEE-R project will assess the regional business climate as a function of electricity costs, the digital economy, digital financial services, and access to finance, and related policy changes necessary to attract investment and to sustain a healthy business climate throughout CARICOM.”

Regional Representative, USAID/ESC, Clinton D. White said, “CBEE-R is another example of our inclusive development partnership and complements ongoing USAID support to build the technical capacity throughout the region to address the impact of climate change, of food security, to provide opportunities to access capital and financing for small and medium enterprises, to provide youth with increased opportunities for jobs and positive living and ultimately to create sustainable, strong locally led Caribbean economies.”

USAID/ESC manages programs in 11 countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, The Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago.