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Aid Bank to become the financial engine for driving our growth strategy

Roseau, Dominica – November 12, 2009……… A reconfigured and reenergised Agricultural Industrial and Development Bank of Dominica (AID Bank) will become the financial engine for driving the country’s growth strategy.

That disclosure was made by Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and Social Security, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit in his address to the nation during the Parade of Uniformed Groups on November 3, 2009.

According to the Dominican leader, with Government’s endorsement, the AID Bank is mobilising funding for financing development activities on appropriate terms over the next five years. This financing will target viable investment opportunities in the productive infrastructural and social sectors.

The Prime Minister also revealed that with the assistance of Government, the AID Bank has already secured a line of credit (US$10million) from the BANDES Bank of Venezuela. The purpose of the line of the credit is to provide financing for projects in the tourism, agriculture, agro-processing and telecommunications sectors.

In a further boost to the Government’s housing revolution programme, Hon. Skerrit also announced two new facilities that “will contribute an added dimension to the housing revolution which has seen many Dominicans proud owners of their homes for the first time”.

“The first of these is the Graduated Payment Mortgage (GPM). The GPM is a mortgage on which payment starts low and rises over time. Since the initial payment is used to qualify the borrower, the GPM may allow a borrower to qualify who would not qualify with a standard fixed payment mortgage,” Prime Minister Skerrit said.

“The second initiative, my friends, is to provide loans to many employees who are close to retirement and who occupy dwellings that are not now conducive to comfortable living….. The AID Bank is giving favourable consideration to an initiative of the Ministry of Finance for a facility which would assist those homeowners to improve their dwellings…. This is an exciting innovation that our people can look forward to in the very near future,” Hon. Skerrit stated.

In order to streamline the processes preceding investment and project implementation and to further stimulate economic activity, the Prime Minister announced that a Mutual Cooperation Agreement will be entered into between the AID Bank and the Invest Dominica Authority.

This arrangement, the Prime Minister added, will ease access of the Bank’s resources by the private sector. Ventures to be given high priority include: Resort colonies, as for example has been proposed for Hampstead; Fishing; Information and Communication Technology; Development of additional cruise ship piers; Tourism attractions and Marinas.

In August, 2009 Parliament approved Government’s guarantee of a loan of $12 million from the Dominica Social Security (DSS) to the AID Bank for general development projects including mortgages.

Fifty-one (51) Dominicans have also benefited from a special housing facility at the AID Bank in the amount of $5 million, a component of Government’s housing revolution programme.

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