The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will seek to facilitate regional integration and the expansion of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

Under the MoU, the CDB and CARICOM will deepen their collaboration on several projects and programmes, with emphasis on institutional strengthening, capacity building and disseminating information on economic and social policy issues.

Other areas covered by the agreement include education, disaster risk reduction, economic integration, regional transport and energy.

The MoU was signed by CDB President Dr William Warren Smith and CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque in Barbados on Wednesday following the CDB, Government of Barbados and the International Monetary Fund’s Ninth Caribbean Forum.

Dr Smith noted that the CDB and CARICOM shared a long-standing relationship and had common goals of building economic opportunity and prosperity for the people of the region through deeper regional cooperation.

“This MoU formalises a long-standing partnership between two leading regional organisations sharing a common interest in fostering the economic development of the Caribbean by promoting economic integration and cooperation,” he said.

“We look forward to even greater collaboration, especially in the areas of capacity building, institutional strengthening, and knowledge and information.”

LaRocque described the MoU as the latest example of the excellent relationship between the CDB and the CARICOM secretariat “that has been a feature of the tenure of Dr Smith.”

He said all the areas cited in the agreement are critical to the development of the region “and the ultimate benefit of the people.”