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Tewarie: IDB helping to develop East PoS

Minister: Projects starting this week

By Camille Bethel camille.bethel@trinidadexpress.com

Projects geared towards the development of East Port of Spain are expected to begin as early as this week, Minister of Planning and Development Dr Bhoe Tewarie has said.

Speaking at the launch of the Ministry of Energy and Inter-American Development Bank's (IDB) Sustainable Energy Programme at the Courtyard by Marriott in Invaders Bay last week, Tewarie said the Government recently signed a number of agreements with the IDB to support economic growth, innovation and development locally.

"The development of East Port of Spain is a major part of the Government's development plan. The project incorporates a multiplicity of initiatives focused at the economic and social transformation of East Port of Spain, and later this week, you will see some of the projects that are involved in that part of the country actually delivered to the community," he said.

Tewarie said the goal is to expand economic activity around the rich, diverse culture while simultaneously providing social and environmental conditions towards the creation of a sustain- able heritage city.

"One that is one of many, about ten of them, identified for the western peninsula," he said.

He said in the planning and execution of the project, a collaborative approach has been adopted, involving a number of Government ministries and agencies, including the Port of Spain City Corporation and the San Juan/ Laventille Regional Corporation, as well as the communities of East Port of Spain, including Belmont, Gonzales, the private sector and the IDB.

Tewarie said the IDB provides the largest source of multilateral financing for Trinidad and Tobago, comprising 43 operations.

"The IDB country strategy for Trinidad and Tobago is valued at US$1.5 billion, and that is for the 2011-2015 period.

He said operations for 2012 and 2013 included the following areas: investment loans related to trade-sector support, public-sector reform, citizen-security programme at the Ministry of National Security and support for a seamless education system.

"In the coming weeks, the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the IDB are expected to sign agreements with regard to the institutional strengthening of the EMA (Environmental Management Authority), piloting the integration of coastal-zone management and climate-change adaptation, and this was approved by Cabinet (Thursday).

A loan is now under consideration for partner approval relating to waste and water," he said.

The programme, he said, will contribute to the Government's efforts to improve environmental conditions in the country.

He said: "It will be the largest IDB loan approved for Trinidad and Tobago", and a revolving loan fund will also be put in place to provide financing for waste water.

Tewarie added that discussions were also ongoing for a major drainage and flooding programme.

Other programmes geared towards the country's development included the Registrar General's office working on a citizen-identification programme, as well as the transformation of the Central Statistical Office (CSO), which is currently taking place.

"So a number of the reform elements on the agenda for Trinidad and Tobago have been supported by the IDB," he said.

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