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Friday, June 23, 2006 

Formula finalised for Development Fund
Friday June 23 2006

The establishment of the Regional Development Fund has now been assured with the general acceptance by participating Member States of a contribution formula put forward by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and endorsed by Caricom Ministers of Finance.

Addressing a regional press conference on Tuesday, Caricom’s Assistant Secretary-General for Regional Trade and Economic Integration, Irwin La Rocque said the formula had been finalised by the Caricom Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP) at its recent meeting in Jamaica.

La Rocque said the ministers also decided that the Development Fund would be a separate legal entity with its own personality, and would be capitalised at US$250M of which US$100M would come from member states via contributions, and $20M from the Petroleum Fund operated by Trinidad & Tobago.
The remainder will be sourced from donor contributions.

The Caricom assistant secretary-general noted, too, that the ministers of finance “have also recommended to heads the setting up of two task forces, one of which will be looking at the implementation of the Development Fund with a view to getting it implemented as quickly as possible, while the other will look at mobilising additional resources from the donor community.”

He said “already the secretary-general of the Community and the lead head with responsibility for the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME), the Rt. Hon Owen Arthur, has approached a number of donors and responses have been encouraging.”

La Rocque said the Development Fund was considered “an instrument that will help us to transform the regional economy to help it to become more competitive.”
He noted that the Development Fund was grounded in Chapter 7 of the Revised Treaty which establishes the fund.

In underscoring the importance of the Development Fund to the operation of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME), La Rocque pointed out that “positive feedback” had already been received from potential donors to the Development Fund.

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