Planning And Development Minister Seeks Sustainable Road Rehabilitation

Minister of Planning and Development, Pennelope Beckles, and members of her team, hosted Mr. Tariq Ali, the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) newly appointed General Manager of the Caribbean Department. Mr. Ali was accompanied by Ms. Carina Cockburn, IDB’s Country Manager to Trinidad and Tobago and Mr. Sergios Rios Chief of Operations IDB to T&T, on Monday 16th January, 2023.

Minister Beckles congratulated Mr. Ali for being the first Trinidad and Tobago national to be selected at the helm of IDB’s leadership team and also encouraged Mr. Ali to champion key projects for T&T, to support the nation’s development strategy, Vision 2030. In turn, Mr. Ali praised Minister Beckles for her steadfast persistence in pursuit of funding opportunities from the IDB to finance key developmental initiatives in the areas of digitization, social programmes, climate financing, infrastructure investment and the National Water Sector Transformation Programme.

Discussions were also focused on partnering with the IDB for technical support to conduct research and assessment for our nation’s roads. Minister Beckles highlighted this as a critical challenge for T&T, in light of significant road damage experienced in recent times caused by increased flooding. The Honourable Minister reiterated the need for resilient road engineering and construction to be implemented, as we combat the fallouts of climate change.

Sustainable road rehabilitation provides longer service life for roads and also help reduce traffic congestion and CO2 emissions, especially during road works.  Various techniques and compounds are currently available in road building technology that can be applied in Trinidad and Tobago to improve the quality of the nations roadways.

In addition, parties explored possible financing packages towards the strategic application of digitisation for national security, to improve crime prevention as well as to increase criminal detection. Last but not least, the meeting also focused on avenues to modernize T&T to improve diversification, expand international trade opportunities and to develop new tourism opportunities.

About Mr. Tariq Ali

Tariq Ali has over 20 years of experience in corporate finance spanning debt capital markets, deal origination, syndication, and structuring. He previously held several roles including Assistant Vice President and Vice President across various indigenous financial institutions in Trinidad & Tobago before he joined the First Citizens Group in 2011.

At the First Citizens Group, he held the positions of Head of Capital Markets, Assistant General Manager – Corporate & Investment Banking Unit. Most recently he served as General Manager – Corporate and Investment Banking Unit where he had overall responsibility for the Unit’s Private Sector, LATAM, Government of Trinidad & Tobago and Debt Capital Markets Business Units.

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