IDB and Trinidad and Tobago Promote Digital Economy

Photo: Planning and Development Minister Pennelope Beckles and IDB President Ilan Goldfajn sign a US$90 million Agreement for the Establishment of a Conditional Credit Line for Investment Projects (CCLIP) for the National Digital Transformation Programme, and US$42 million First Individual Operation for the Programme to Accelerate the Digital Transformation Agenda of Trinidad and Tobago. Witnessing the signing (left) is IDB Executive Director Robert LeHunte. (Image IDB)

 

The Minister of Planning and Development of Trinidad and Tobago, Pennelope Beckles and the President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Ilan Goldfajn, signed a US$90 million Conditional Credit Line for Investment Projects, which includes a first individual loan of US$42 million, to facilitate the digital transformation of Trinidad and Tobago by supporting the expansion and enhancement of the digital economy.

The signing took place on Wednesday March 6, 2024 at the Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors of the IDB and IDB Invest, its private sector arm, in Punta Cana, Santo Domingo. Minister Beckles is currently representing Trinidad and Tobago as a Governor on the Board of Governors of the IDB at the Annual Meetings.

Minister Beckles highlighted the value of the establishment of the Ministry of Digital Transformation in 2022 by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, which underscores Trinidad and Tobago's recognition of the global shift towards digitalization and a commitment to embracing digitalization to remain competitive in the digital age. She added that “We recognize the importance of digitalization for development of the country and its critical role in promoting resilient prosperity, enhancing economic growth, improving access to public services, and fostering innovation and entrepreneurship so we welcome this engagement with the IDB.”

Recognizing the challenges in making the shift, the Minister recognized the IDB as a crucial partner in understanding these challenges, engaging stakeholders, and developing roadmaps for incremental adjustments to facilitate the journey to digital transformation.

The project, approved by the IDB Board on December 13, 2023, will boost productivity through inclusive and safe digital technology adoption and innovation in Trinidad and Tobago. Selected government agencies will receive institutional strengthening support to advance their use of data interoperability platforms and cybersecurity management.

Additionally, over 150 firms will receive support to use digital technology to improve their productivity and more than 500 public service employees will have access to advanced training opportunities in digital service delivery and project management. The program will also feature activities that promote the digital inclusion of people with disabilities and women-led firms.