British International Investment
26 October 2022

British International Investment re-enters the Caribbean with ambition to back private sector growth and scale climate finance in the region

British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor, marked its return to investing in the Caribbean at a business reception held at the British High Commission in Kingston. Hosted by Jesse Norman, UK’s Minister of State; Judith Slater, British High Commissioner to Jamaica; and Colin Buckley, BII Managing Director and General Counsel, the event celebrates the DFI’s commitment to invest in sectors that can positively transform CARICOM economies.

BII – formerly known as CDC Group – re-enters the region after 20 years and embarks on its strategy to invest up to £7.5 billion from 2022-2026, to help create productive, sustainable and inclusive economies across its markets, including the Caribbean. BII will look to provide climate finance to help boost resilience and adaptation, particularly for Small Island Developing States who are at high risk to the complex impact of climate change. To accelerate its impact in the region, BII will primarily invest through partnerships and intermediaries, leveraging their knowledge and expertise to deploy capital across multiple sectors, including renewable energy and financial services.

BII (then CDC) was a major investor in the Caribbean for around fifty years, from the early 1950s when it made an early investment in hydropower electricity generation across the region and later set up the Caribbean Utilities in 1969. In Jamaica, BII established the Jamaica Housing Company to provide mostly low-cost housing finance and support the development of the country. The DFI went on to finance the island’s commercial, industrial, tourist, port, and harbour facilities, along with other infrastructure.

Between the mid-sixties and the seventies, BII rapidly expanded across the region, investing in several sectors, including power, agribusiness, manufacturing, commerce, tourism, transport, financial institutions, telecoms and IT. The DFI increased its portfolio in the region to over £40 million – nearly a quarter of its worldwide total at the time.

Minister for the Americas, Jesse Norman said: “The UK has long believed in the importance of honest and reliable financing for low- and middle-income countries. British International Investment has a track record of financing dynamic private sector growth around the world, and I am delighted it will now be supporting projects in the Caribbean. We are confident this will help to build a new wave of investment in clean and green infrastructure, bolster businesses, create jobs, and boost trade.”

Remarking on BII’s presence in the Caribbean, Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of BII said: “We are thrilled to be returning to invest in the Caribbean. As we re-establish our presence, we will focus on a mission to help accelerate private sector growth and increase access to finance for entrepreneurs that generate economic opportunities.”

“BII will also look to deploy patient and flexible capital toward funding climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives for vulnerable states and increase regional resilience to external economic shocks. As the region continues to evolve, BII will aim to build relationships with established players and leverage expertise from across our markets to make investments that support the CARICOM’s journey toward sustainable growth.”


British International Investment Media Contact: Toyosi Adebayo | [email protected]

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