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Jun 26, 2020

Will Tourism Sector Get Financing Through D.F.C.?

Dean Barrow

The downturn in tourism activity has left stakeholders in a financial mess.  During the Prime Minister’s Press Conference on Thursday, he was asked about the tourism sector’s need for capital to kick-start their operations as the country opens up back for tourism in August. PM Barrow says that while the initial line of financing of ten million dollars was proposed – they are still working out the fine details of where those monies will come from through the Development Finance Coorporation.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I haven’t calculated how much money will be necessary. I have been working with the D.F.C. and the initial ask, from as I understand it, and the G.M. Natalie Goff would perhaps have to confirm whether my recollection of the details, emerging from the meeting she and I had, are correct. But as I can tell there has been an approach to the D.F.C. from the B.T.I.A. and perhaps some others in the tourism sector for an initial line of financing for working capital of ten million dollars. Government is committed to making sure that happens. Let me explain a little more to you. D.F.C. already has a consolidated line of credit from C.D.B., so it has funds in hand from which ten million dollars could be earmarked for tourism working capital loan. However, the monies from C.D.B. to D.F.C. which monies D.F.C. has in hand are subject to a restriction. They are not supposed to be loaned for working capital. I made an intervention with the President of the C.D.B. and he has agreed to put to his board my request that we be given an exemption to the extent of ten million dollars. The consolidated line is more than ten million dollars. That we be given an exemption actually to the tune of seven million dollars; an exemption from the prohibition of D.F.C.’s lending for working capital purposes between D.F.C. and government, if we get that from C.D.B., we would make up the other three so that we can arrive at the figure of ten million dollars. There is another wrinkle and that is the interest rate. The tourism people and I made a commitment to them publicly. I didn’t have any face to face meetings but when this was brewing, I made a commitment that the interest rate would not be higher than six percent. The rate at which D.F.C. borrowed from C.D.B. plus D.F.C.’s administration fee wouldn’t result in a six percent lending rate to the tourism sector. It would result in a rate that is higher than that. But I am finding a way to ensure that the rate to the tourism sector will not exceed six percent.”

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